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Maximising space in a landscape design isn't limited to small spaces

With its generous outdoor living area, plunge pool and tennis court, this property makes the very most of its al-fresco entertaining opportunities

View of outdoor living space by Nathan Burkett apartment, architecture, backyard, condominium, courtyard, estate, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, swimming pool, villa, gray
View of outdoor living space by Nathan Burkett of Nathan Burkett Landscape Design & Construction featuring outdoor living area, plunge pool and tennis court.

Maximising space has been a noticeable focus of landscape design in recent years. But it's not just small sites getting all the attention.

For this project, landscape designer Nathan Burkett was contracted to create an outdoor entertaining area that would include a heated plunge pool and tennis court.

Burkett says the slope of the site, from front to rear and from side to side, added to the challenge. But it also provided an opportunity to introduce a variety of levels for added visual interest.

"The property has a high retaining wall on the left side, with concrete foundations that extend beneath the site," Burkett says. "To enable trees to grow, we created a raised garden behind curved, overlapping walls that extend right up to the tennis court at the top of the property."


View of outdoor living space by Nathan Burkett architecture, backyard, estate, home, house, lighting, property, real estate, reflection, swimming pool, water, black
View of outdoor living space by Nathan Burkett of Nathan Burkett Landscape Design & Construction featuring outdoor living area, plunge pool and tennis court.

The curves of the wall are repeated in the curve of the timber decking. This extends from a pergola-covered outdoor living area to a ramped feature beside the plunge pool. The curve of the ramp is also mirrored by the shape of the adjacent glass balustrading that encloses the pool.

Burkett says these curved elements help to soften the formality of the hard landscaping, which provides a tiered procession of rectangular forms, starting with a reflection pool.

"Both the reflection pool and the plunge-spa pool feature extra-wide, 75mm-thick, granite coping tiles that give the pools a chunky appearance. The pool interior is also completely clad in granite tiles that give it a very dark look."

Granite tiles, laid in a random Ashlar pattern, create a pathway to the tennis court on the top level. The court is partially screened by a copse of ornamental pear trees Pyrus calleryana Capital.

View of outdoor living space by Nathan Burkett architecture, backyard, condominium, estate, landscaping, property, real estate, reflecting pool, reflection, swimming pool, water, water feature, gray, black
View of outdoor living space by Nathan Burkett of Nathan Burkett Landscape Design & Construction featuring outdoor living area, plunge pool and tennis court.

"These narrow-growing trees are planted in a grid that complements the formal lines of the hard landscaping," says Burkett. "They are also a strong vertical element that adds height to the garden."

Plantings at the sides of the property include pleached and hedged Ficus hillii trees, Ajuga ground cover, Liriope evergreen giants glossy, strap-leafed plants and Arthropodium cirratum, which have small white flowers through the summer.

Credit list

Paving
Granite tiles; timber decking
Lighting
Design by Nathan Burkett; supply by Gardens at Night
Outdoor furniture
Dedon from Domo Collections
Gates and fencing
Haven Fencing
Plants
Warners; Smith & Gordon
Sculpture
Sculptura

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Andrew Ashton

04 Oct, 2020

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