Contemporary garden design for modern lifestyle
If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need”- Marcus Tullius Cicero 106BC-43B.In the hustle and bustle of city life, people need, somewhere to pause and recover the equilibrium of a simple life, a place without clutter and complexities, a peaceful place. The quest for simplicity began in 20th century in architecture as well as in designs for living.
Living in urban areas, city gardens, usually in relatively small area, they need clever designs to make them work well, providing outdoor space for planting, relaxation, play and entertaining. Most urban gardens become functional spaces of plant filled havens into which you can escape hectic city life. They often feature minimal design and repeated patterns for maximum effect. The term “outdoor garden room” is often used to describe this approach to modern garden design.
Contemporary Gardens Design History
In the 20th Century, modern design for gardens became important as architects began to design buildings and residences with an eye toward innovation and streamlining the formal Beaux-Arts and derivative early revival styles, removing unnecessary references and embellishment.
Garden design inspired by modern architecture naturally followed in the same philosophy of “form following function”- Frank Lloyd Wright demonstrated his interpretation for the modern garden by designing homes in complete harmony with natural surroundings. His son Lloyd Wright trained in architecture and landscape architecture in the famous Olmsted Brothers Office, with his father, and architect Irving Gill. He practiced an innovative organic integration of structure and landscape in his works. Subsequently, Garret Eckbo, James Rose, and Dan Kiley- known as the “the bad boys of Harvard”, met while studying traditional landscape architecture, became notable pioneers in the design of modern gardens. Their designers wanted to interpret and incorporate those new ideas in landscape design. They became interested in developing functional space for outdoor living with designs echoing natural surroundings. Modern gardens feature a fresh mix of curved and architectonic designs and many include abstract art in geometrics and sculpture. Spaces are defined with the thoughtful placement of trees and plantings.
Thomas Church worked in California, his 1948 Donnell garden’s swimming pool, kidney-shaped with an abstract sculpture within it became an icon of modern outdoor living.
Roberto Burle Marx is accredited with having introduced modernist landscape architecture to Brazil. He was known as a modern artist and a public urban space designer. He was a landscape architect (as well as botanist, painter, print maker,ecologist,naturalist,artist and musician) who designed parks and gardens in Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and in the USA in Florida. He worked with architects Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer on the landscape for some of the prominent modern gardens with government buildings in Brazil.
Contemporary Gardens are known for their designs ‘lines’. They may include streamlined built elements like poured concrete walls, or reflecting ponds. The plant palettes in Contemporary Gardens typically feature bold plants that are simple but interesting. Contemporary Gardens design increasingly focuses on turning an outdoor space into an extension for our living space that fits better with modern lifestyle. The term “outdoor room” is often used to describe this design and it works well now that modern materials and products gives us the same set of choices- floor surfaces, seating, lighting, furniture, décor etc. Contemporary Gardens design prompts us to approach an outdoor space the same way we might do on interior design. The increase of the population affects the decrease of the space to be inhabited.
Crisp, clean lines are an intrinsic part of Contemporary design, which can be applied to either small or larger gardens. Equally important is the use of space, geometric layout and the absence of too many fussy details and clutter. This all adds up to a garden that could be the perfect antidote to a hectic lifestyle- dynamic yet relaxing. Materials tend to be natural and timeless such as stone, slate, wood, and plants become just one part of the architecture- think clipped hedges, specimen trees and simple blocks of plantings. Water is often used to create reflection, movement or sound.
Contemporary Gardens Designs prompts us to approach an outdoor space the same way we might do an interior designs project. If it is referred by the concept, minimalist garden design and the minimalist house design have the same principle of the concept which is characterized by the presence of the vertical and horizontal lines of the minimalist style. Contemporary garden design increasingly focuses on turning an outdoor space into an extension of our living area that fits better with modern lifestyle.
As property prices have increased over recent years, people have begun to utilize outdoo ares more inventively with tiny urban courtyards being turned into intimate café style gardens and green terraces increasingly replacing any unutilized roof and balcony space.Contemporary garden design increasingly focuses on turning an outdoor space into an “outdoor room”.