Urbane Gazette Volume 4 - Issue 4 - Page 11


Connecting People and Nature

When building a new home , how early should you consider the design of the landscape and exterior spaces ?
Many of the best projects that TDL has delivered have resulted from an early engagement , when we ’ re involved at the sketch plan stage prior to council submission . This allows us to give input to the relationship of the home with the outdoor spaces and maximise the connection from indoor to outdoor in ways that designers in other specialties may not consider . We need to understand the challenges of the project from an early stage so we can assist in bringing harmony and balance to the home and its surroundings . This also allows us to offer creative alternatives to challenges that might otherwise require a surplus of built form . For example , if you have overlooking issues , we can use landscape and plantings to create privacy , if there are retaining issues , we can make suggestions to resolve levels harmoniously . Where good landscape architecture can shine is when we look at any existing site features like trees and level changes and use these to enhance the outdoor spaces . We always recommend considering your landscape as early as possible , but it ’ s never too late to make the best of what you ’ re working with .
Photographed by Dion Robeson In your nearly forty years of experience , what is the key to creating good outcomes in landscape design ?
They key for me is listening to clients and being able to read between the lines to identify priorities , and then being good at communicating and managing expectations . We have to understand how people are actually going to use their outdoor spaces to create truly usable , functional spaces that suit their lifestyles . It ’ s about the little things : how people entertain , their pets , their family plans , their level of willingness to perform garden maintenance . Getting to the heart of what is most important to the client allows you to make the recommendations and compromises that are almost always necessary to make designs work from both practical and budgetary perspectives . To get the very best outcome for your external landscape and living spaces , your landscaper needs to understand you personally on some level and speak your language . To me , this is the most crucial and challenging part of any design relationship .
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