Small Space, Big Design

 

It’s always a pleasure to collaborate with contemporary building architects who generate fresh ideas while still remaining sympathetic to the context of the environment. Brisbane firm Refresh*Design is one such outfit and Princess Precinct is one such project. Here I have designed the landscaping to meet the client’s brief and compliment Refresh Design’s building design.

 
 
Image credit: the foto fanatic 2010 as seen at  Your Brisbane: Past and Present

Image credit: the foto fanatic 2010 as seen at Your Brisbane: Past and Present

 
 

The 2017/18 redevelopment project saw Princess Row transition from run-down terraced residences, originally built in the 1860’s, to a vibrant, contemporary, commercial hub. In the image below the breath of fresh air is almost palpable as the redevelopment has opened the facade of the terraces, giving a new lease on life.

 
 
Image credit:  Cathy Schusler

Image credit: Cathy Schusler

 
 

The client’s brief was to create a robust, socially engaging zone suitable for dining, casual coffee, client meetings, team meetings, creative brainstorming….a place for short term and long term entertaining. So, let’s start at the beginning as I explain the landscape design….

 
 
Image credit:  Cathy Schusler

Image credit: Cathy Schusler

 
 

The front fence needed to be sharp and architectural to achieve the modern/contemporary look that suited the renovation, yet still sensitive to the older materials prevalent in the area, such as timber and tin. As they always should be, CPTED guidelines were adhered to - the property was secure yet open for visual safety and crime prevention.

Trees along the front of the property were chosen to replicate the existing street trees, generating a feeling of extension, as if borrowing extra space from the street. Much like having a backyard that flows onto a park or council bush land.

My solution to marrying the concept of a social hub within limited space along the front of the property was paving with vegetative gaps. The green spaces broke the monotony and expanse of hard material, needed for hard-stand zones for social functionality, while softened the edges. This property also had disability access requirements to meet which this format suited perfectly.

 
 
Image credit:  Cathy Schusler

Image credit: Cathy Schusler

 
 

As you can see from the image above, the outside area physically tapers to a narrow space at the far end. To use this to my advantage when designing the outdoor entertaining area I allowed for wider, open plan dining tables and benches in the foreground (suitable for a group of 3+, be it for dining or a relaxed meeting) cafe-style seating in the mid-ground and taller bar/cafe stool seating at the narrow end. Each style of seating area created various levels with staggered heights and allowed for comfortable pedestrian flow throughout the space.


Noted in the recent article byJames Lyall Smith in The Local Project:

The design joins all front yards to one communal space and includes benches and tables to encourage social interaction of the tenants and the local community which has resulted in a cross-pollination between all tenants including a gallery and the existing café next door.”

 

If you are considering a project for multi-dwelling residential or commercial purposes contact Seed Landscape Design today to ensure you get the best landscape design that also meets the BA and DA requirements for council approval and landscape compliance certification.