Photo: Grade 1 listed Nash Villa, Regents Park

Grade 1 listed Nash Villa, Regents Pk

The Brief

Due to space constraints the client purchased the neighbouring property and was seeking to link the two homes. Due to the sensitivity of these historical buildings the two gardens (now to become1) must be designed so that should the properties be re divided then the garden(s) would work as separate spaces. Therefore the original boundary between the two properties must be definable and recognisable along part of its length. Furthermore the historical nature of the original canal which now forms part of the garden must be retained. The Client requested a minimalist style with quality timeless materials and a perfect lawn on which to play football!

About the Garden Design

The garden seeks to restore the original scale of the Nash landscape setting, paying homage to the original location of the canal itself and the position of the original canal wall. The lawn lies along the base of the original canal floor while the far bank is planted with naturalised trees, semi ornamental shrubs and ground cover as a habitat for local wildlife (including the local fox family who regularly joined the Contractors in their work!). A formal rill follows the alignment of the original canal wall and is something of a visual pun. Views of the rill and the bronze sculpture at its end are framed via a punctuated wall that defines the original boundary between the two gardens, setting the scene for re division if needed. The upper terrace is enclosed by a copy of an original stair case banister within the building and the new conservatory once again runs along the original boundary line. This was a complicated brief and the solution is one of which I am very pleased. Visually successful as one garden but also working in scale and harmony with the two properties if subdivided. This garden was also a winner in the 2007 BALI National Awards.

About the Materials Used

Purbeck stone was selected as a quality and timeless material that works with the character of the building. The paving is laid in coursed bands and butt jointed giving a clean and contemporary feel. Step risers use a polished stone while the paving is of a hammered finish. The same material is used in the walls. It took over a year to quarry and prepare the stone for this garden by a small team of very talented stone masons based at the quarry. The garden mixes historical features such as the Nash designed hand rail yet houses contemporary sculpture all lit using subtle low voltage lighting to enable use of the garden during the evening. It is an exciting and eclectic mix that proves timeless and classic in style. I think Nash would love it!

Gallery

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