No architectural design can be considered without context. At HollandGreen, when we undertake a new project, our deliberations cover the many separate elements that will inform, constrain and inspire the eventual design – including environmental factors such as the building’s setting, position and orientation.
The topography of the site will guide our thoughts from the earliest stages: we’re always keen to investigate the full extent of the plot that will not only act as a backdrop for the building but – if properly considered – will create the perfect frame to showcase its artistry. Only by understanding the relationship between the building and its surrounds can we deliver a truly exceptional result – which is where the expertise of a garden designer is essential.
A holistic approach
A quick glance at the majority of new-build properties and you could be forgiven for believing that landscaping is more of an after-thought than an integral part of the architect’s design. And, for the most part, you’d be right.
But, because we work on exceptional, high-end projects, we know that it’s a mistake to treat plans for outdoor space with the ad-hoc approach some mistakenly take towards acquiring furnishings and accessories. While finessing the garden might feel as though it’s part of the endgame from a construction point of view, incorporating it as part of a holistic approach to creating the best building possible will not only result in a more harmonious overall scheme but will root the property more securely and successfully in its habitat. It will also add substantially to its final value.
Collaboration & Concept Design
One of the main principles of good landscape design is unity of vision, achieved through consistency of design and harmonious repetition. The best foundation for achieving this level of coherence is by acquiring a thorough understanding of the client’s ideas and aspirations from the earliest stages. Only by fully appreciating the building’s ‘raison d’etre’ can a garden designer begin to plan an outside space that will relate specifically to the architectural brief.
In many ways, generating ideas is the easy part; creating a garden that meets the client’s needs while respecting the environment and contributing positively to the local eco system is the real aim. This is where preparation and planning – in the form of early stage site analysis and information gathering – comes into its own. Research at this point can not only guide the choice and use of plants and materials but will indicate the infrastructure needed to underpin the garden’s long-term growth. An investment of time here can ensure we establish a habitat that will get better with time, settling comfortably into the broader landscape and supporting local wildlife.
Priming the plot
Once the scope of works has been established, the garden designers can begin to schedule major works, such as excavation and hard landscaping, as well as considering planting schemes that will require time and skill to implement successfully. Understanding the building timetable also enables the garden designers to plan works – introducing new soil, for instance – at the right stage. We are committed to minimising waste and take every opportunity to preserve fertile soil that can be repurposed elsewhere on site. By collaborating in this way and communicating effectively, the architect and garden designers can save a lot of hassle, time and cost on site.
Inside meets Outside
Embarking on any construction project involves myriad design and build professionals, which means that nurturing open communication between them is key. As contract administrators, we already have an enviable track record of promoting effective communication and ensuring that our clients’ needs are at the heart of all exchanges. Excitingly, our range of services makes us perfectly positioned to foster the kind of close collaboration that wouldn’t usually happen on a project.
Our architects, interior and garden designers work in concert, sharing ideas and exploring exciting and creative new avenues for each project. Whether planning a contrast that highlights an architectural feature or ensuring a seamless transition from kitchen to terrace, we capture our clients’ passion and use it to transform the build, inside and out.