Long before any garden, roof terrace, or courtyard is built and enjoyed, a designer is tasked with a problem to solve. The first step in the process is to familiarize themselves with a space and perform a site analysis. You may not be familiar with the term, however, you probably do this in everyday life. Determining critical elements like, which direction does the space face? Where is the sun? From which direction are the prevailing winds? Are there any views you want to keep or frame? Are there views you want to block or distract the eye from? How does the outside interact with the inside space? What rooms are connecting to the outdoor space? Creating even the most simplistic site analysis plan can help make any project a success.
Often when visiting the space for the first time, we are lucky enough to meet with the end user, the owner. At times they have a vision, and they are asking us to build it. Other times, they want to hear our thoughts and see what we might create. In this case, it is important to understand how the client intends to use the space. In a private dwelling it could be a couple who will enjoy their morning coffee on the terrace. In other circumstances, it could be a family with three kids and a dog who all like to run around and need the extra space. Depending on the client’s requests, the same design and layout may or may not work for both situations. When approaching the design for a public space, we need to be aware of similar questions. Is the space intended to be quiet and peaceful for relaxing, or is it an open space for people to gather?
Every outdoor space is carefully designed and edited with the design team and client. Some spaces are created as an escape from busy city life with a lush serene garden, terraces are designed to entertain friends and family for dinner parties, company spaces are created for a quiet spot to eat lunch, get fresh air, or bring clients in for meetings, and the list goes on. With that being said, we design each space to specifically meet the needs of our clients down to the paver colors, planter colors, lighting, and plant palette choices. There is no one correct answer to any design. Every problem has a variety of solutions, but it is how the elements are used together that makes the space successful.
Phil Adams, Sales & Design