green wall garden 15m²
Returning to Belgravia to create a third project for the clients, we relished the opportunity to collaborate once more on an innovative renovation project. With a new 20-square-metre roof terrace adjoining the kitchen, overlooking the courtyard garden, the sheer contrast in microclimates enables the cultivation of sun-loving plants within the rooftop terrace, dramatically juxtaposed with sciophilous vegetation throughout the shaded green wall. Further promoted by the heat of a swimming pool, floor-to-ceiling glass and materials' reflectivity, these climatic zones, however small, envelop, punctuate and soften the residence as truly opulent settings for a busy family life.
The designs for the frontage, roof terrace, courtyard garden, green wall and indoor planting represent not only a shared vision with our long-standing clients, but also an affinity with sculpture and art. This interlinkage of tonal and textural palettes sustains multidimensional continuity, evident throughout a 6-storey indoor-outdoor reciprocality, elegantly augmented by an enticing spectrum of Italian materials and features. While the owners spend much time in Tuscany, the inclusion of Italianate elements expresses a classic-contemporary equilibrium, elevated by an imaginative lighting scheme both inside and outside.
The new remodelling features a greater variety of outdoor spaces, seamlessly dovetailed through clarity of materials' selections. Once scaffolding had made way to natural light in this tightest and trickiest of sites, Cedar panels began their privacy duties – projecting sunrays onto black limestone surfaces. The smallest of courtyards didn't deter our clients, and here in Belgravia, surrounded by the capital's lushest parks, verdancy is celebrated in every square inch. Orchestrated by the clients' quest for immaculate bespoke detail, this tiny courtyard garden also purveys an unrivalled wealth of amenities: a fireplace, a storage bench which conceals the pool pipes, irrigation, lighting and of course, an epic living wall – providing a continuous focal point for the entire residence, all the way from street level to the top floor...
Diverse Plant Life
Greening the new courtyard garden and roof terrace was central to our clients' wish list, where the multilayered outdoors is framed by expansive glass panes. Designing the green wall at 5.5 metres high enables eye-level vistas from the kitchen right through to the front door, while the rooftop underscores this composition with custom-made planters – focusing the living wall further with Cedar privacy screens. With 500 plants in 25 species, half of which are native, the diversity of plant life is extensive, enhanced by a soft flower colour palette of whites, pinks and blues. A third of the planting scheme contains evergreen ferns which anchor the design with architectural fronds; having previously planted some of the species in our former design, we chose to celebrate successful selections while diversifying the sunny rooftop with coastal shrubs and vibrant petal tones.
In an outdoor sequence of such confined proportions, every refined garden design detail accomplishes further depth and focus, achieved by elegant shadow gaps, inventive stone layouts around tree trunks, selection of effective light fittings, colour contrasts, the movement achieved by wispy grasses and fire flames and silhouettes forming onto surfaces as the day arc encircles the small space. Above all, the soaring green wall certainly maximises the potential of otherwise a leftover outside space – not only as living artwork and a night-time showpiece, but also, quite effectively, as a safe haven for wildlife, where its lofty summit attracts local birds, bees and butterflies.