Through the tiers

Originally too steep to be usable, this sloping section has been transformed into a contemporary landscape with terraces and plenty of visual interest

An exposed concrete pathway runs through the spotted architecture, backyard, cottage, daylighting, estate, facade, home, house, lighting, property, real estate, residential area, roof, siding, swimming pool, villa, window, black
An exposed concrete pathway runs through the spotted gum timber deck and around the adjacent relaxation lawn. LED strip lighting underneath the pathway create a shadow effect so it looks as though it is floating above the grass. Because the garden is very exposed, an automated awning was installed above the spa to create some shading over top.

Landscaping a sloping site can be fraught with challenges, but as this project shows, a little ingenuity is all it takes to transform an unusable area into one that is both functional and eye catching.

Landscape designer Lewis Marash of Out From The Blue says the space was heavily overgrown, with a significant slope from the front of the property to the rear boundary.

"Our initial conversation with the client was about how to terrace the slope to make the garden more functional."

The landscape was split into two main terraces, the lower of which is a synthetic grass lawn designed for the owner's children to play on.

"While the terraces provided space, what we then needed was a feature that would create a presence in the backyard," says Marash.

Tiered landscaping adds visual depth and interest to architecture, backyard, deck, estate, facade, grass, home, house, outdoor structure, property, real estate, residential area, yard, white
Tiered landscaping adds visual depth and interest to this property while creating more usable space on the sloping site in this project by Lewis Marash of Out From The Blue

Originally this was to be a swimming pool; however it soon became apparent that installing a large pool on a site with such a slope would not be cost effective.

"That's when the spa pool came into play. Of course that meant we had a much smaller feature to work with, so we needed to create something to surround the spa which would be in proportion to the upper terrace."

With that in mind, Marash designed a curved timber deck with black steel beams that drop at right angles to a bench seat adjacent to the spa.

"The combination deck and spa is the feature of the upper terrace the area has a much greater presence than if it was just a spa sitting on its own," says Marash.

Because the owner wanted to retain an unobstructed view, an important aspect of the design was keeping the spa terrace free from pool fencing. Taking advantage of the topography, terrace walls were used to create a compliant boundary.

A water feature, lined with dark tiles, provides apartment, architecture, building, condominium, daylighting, estate, facade, home, house, property, real estate, reflection, residential area, white
A water feature, lined with dark tiles, provides a tranquil outlook from the front entrace to this house.

Designed to complement the spa and deck, a set of stairs connects the terrace to the family wing of the house. These run between two ponds, with bluestone steppers that appear to float on top of the water. Black ceramic tiles enhance the reflections during the day, with LED lights bringing the feature to life at night.

"As you come through the front door, you look straight through a large window to the rear garden, so we wanted to create a feature that would make a real design statement," says Marash.

Leafy plants and native grasses ensure the garden is low maintenance, and works with the clean-lined aesthetic.

Credit list

Landscape designer
Lewis Marash,
Landscape contractor
Living Creations
Pool surround
Spotted gum, Tait Timber
Gates and fencing
Frameless Impressions
Spa designer
Out From The Blue
Bluestone, Pavers Plus
Water feature
OFTB, Living Creations

Story by: Ellen Dorset

Photography by: Dean Bradley

30 Dec, 2013

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