This exquisite garden, designed by Citylaboratory for Les Jardins de Métis, is a fine example of designing with clarity. The egg shaped pool captures the beauty of the surrounding nature, reflecting and so transforming the space into a garden that sings with simplicity.

Citylaboratory say that “ROTUNDA is an elemental garden, based on an atmospheric and poetic perception of materials, light, plants and the passing of time. It is a reflection on the fundamental themes of the art of the garden.

CITYLABORATORY-ROTUNDA

The garden is to be filled with water at the beginning of its life and to be left to evolve over time, becoming a climate register device. It will be sensible to changing light conditions, fluctuations in temperature and humidity, rainfall and evaporation.

Photo by Carlos Comendador

Water is used as a raw material to create a reflecting surface. The container is simply a frame that suspends water above the ground; a homogenous black object, assembled in a direct way, minimizing the expression of assembly joints and the contact with the ground.

The garden will over time accumulate leaves, dust and pollen, be inhabited by birds and insects, leading to the cultivation and growth of new life within the garden.”

The garden won 1st Prize International Design Competition.

 

CITYLABORATORY-ROTUNDA PLAN CITYLABORATORY-ROTUNDA

Photo by Carlos Comendador

After some time away watering and tending to my seedling daughter, I am again designing, writing and back in my garden.

We have not rested an our laurels, however – we have continued to search out inspiration; we have completed several projects and we have spent a lot of time planning the future for Cat Howard studios.

Beautiful meadow planting - happy summer everyone

Beautiful meadow planting – happy summer everyone

We have been hard at work on this roof terrace for a wonderful large eco house in Holland Park. The house is a large, minimal new build and the owners are keen gardeners that wanted something beautiful to be in and look at from their bedroom window.

Currently the whole space is decked and pretty characterless, although it has some good London views and overlooks a working community garden space.

We wanted to make the space as green and secluded as possible, there are views through two large sliding glass doors out onto the terrace, one from the hallway and study area and one from the clients bedroom, so it is the first thing they see upon waking.

Particular attention was paid to the impact of the weight bearing of the building so Cat Howard worked alongside FORM Structural Design to achieve the most suitable solution. The paving was laid on a Caro support system and the planters were part filled with polystyrene blocks and then GT4 low bulk density soil to keep them within weight. The terrace also has a full irrigation system for the summer months and lighting which highlights the plants atmospherically, lengthening the use of the terrace on warm evenings and providing a beautiful night time view from the house.

Large deep planters line the edges and a single central planter defines the dining area from the seating area, and trees will provide lovely green screening from the neighbours but not block them out or cut the owners off from their community.

The ground is cut grey sandstone with strips of gravel in which Thyme and Chamomile will be planted and which will release scent when walked upon. In this way and others the planting plan pays particular attention to olfactory perception, something which was of utmost importance to the client.

The garden is now complete and awaiting spring for its first proper photoshoot.

A big thank you goes out to The Outdoor Room whose experienced team carried out the build on the roof terrace with great efficiency and to a quality finish.

Before
The space as it was

Before

Glass doors

View out to terrace

Work commences and the old terrace is taken apart
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Work commences

The stone paving and the generous planters go in and planting commences
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The Outdoor Room hard at work
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Planting and the finishing touches

We will upload photos of the finished garden after it has had some time to establish this spring.

Here are the mood images and the planting plan

View from bedroom

View from top

Planting plan

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