This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Miraculous Floating Garden + Pool in Brisbane

Gardens

The stalwart characteristics of the Australian dream present an outdated concept for new architectural prospects. A terrace, two car garage and pool for a suburban nuclear family doesn’t fit the bill for cutting-edge residential design these days.

And yet a collaboration between Kieron Gait Architects and Dan Young Landscape Architect delivered a complete innovation of that brief, complete with one of the best pools we’ve seen in a while.

25th February, 2020

A low maintenance, native plant palette was the client brief. Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

Raw rock surface contrasts with smooth, new concrete in the car port. Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

A tropical wonderland. Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

The west-facing terrace provides views down the slope, across the swimming hole and into the National Park that disappears into Mount Coot-tha. Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

The house entrance is chiselled into the rock face. Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

‘There’s a great transition from dark to semi-shade to full sun that is reflected in the plant palette when you transition from house undercroft into the rear garden.’ – Dan Young.

Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

Blankets of native greenery overhang the car port like a Bond villain’s lair. Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

The street view gives a glimpse of the lush, cascading greenery that bookends the residence. Photo – Christopher F. Jones.

Sasha Gattermayr
Tuesday 25th February 2020

The intention for this project was for a garden ‘that looks like it’s been there as long as the house has’ – Dan Young.

For a brief that detailed a low maintenance, native terrain with a dedicated sunset viewing spot, architects Kieron Gait and landscape architect Dan Young really outdid themselves. What is essentially a utilitarian addition, bookending the front and back of this Brisbane residence, has provided an unconventional opportunity for creative landscaping.

A miraculous cloud of native vegetation hovers above the street-facing carport, itself a cavernous underbelly hewn from the preexisting rock bluff. Tropical greenery then spills over the terrace, veiling the concrete slab that buttresses the carport void, while the rock face underneath is left raw and exposed on one side, allowing the building to fuse organically with the natural elements.

The west-facing slope of the property is maximised to provide sunset views out over the pillows of wild foliage that blanket the surrounding garden, as well as the neighbouring Mount Coot-tha and D’Aguilar National Park. Like all good landscape architects, Dan lists the native topology as the most important consideration when cultivating inspiration. ‘We drew from these local landscapes [in the northwest] as reference for planting hierarchy,’ he recalls, as well as upcycling the excess stone leftover from the carport excavation.

These stones were used in the pool terrace to reference riverbed rocks, and give the illusion of a natural swimming hole. Moving fluidly from garden to pool as the site slopes westward, the dark coloured water pools against the corners of the rock wall and echoes the undulations of a natural gully, surrounded by natural toned boulder slabs.

Evolution is the nature of the landscape beast, Dan surmises. It allows for simultaneous reflection on the site’s original state, and then the way the landscape mutates as it is lived in – particularly in this design, that is intended to look wild and overgrown. The intention for this project was for a garden ‘that looks like it’s been there as long as the house has’ Dan explains. An outcome that will happen with time, if it hasn’t begun to already.

This Week

Interiors

An Interior Designer's 'Tactile And Feminine' Canberra Home

An interior designer transforms a 1950s brick cottage into a modern and colourful townhouse!
Sasha Gattermayr

On the Market

This Inner-City Brisbane Sanctuary Is Up For Grabs!

A harmonious family home located in inner-city Brisbane is all kinds of spacious, and now for sale.

Art

A Public Art Event Puts Australia’s Female Artists In The Limelight

National Gallery of Australia overtakes 1,500 billboards across the country to display the works of female Australian artists. It's time to
Sasha Gattermayr

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Secluded Writer’s Hut Masquerading As Part Of The Garden

A creative writer is living the Walden dream in this secluded backyard shed in Melbourne's east!
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Verdant Garden In Fitzroy North

An insanely lush inner city garden, created by landscape designer Amanda Oliver.
Georgina Reid

Gardens

A Garden Of Native and Exotic Plants On The Mornington Peninsula

A visit to a Merricks Beach garden, featuring Australian natives, succulents and grasses - and no irrigation!
Georgina Reid

This Week

Architecture

A Legendary Local Design Writer’s Renovated 1930s Home

Two art deco apartments in South Yarra owned by reverred Melbourne writer Stephen Crafti have been transformed into one unified home, by Rob...

News

Seljak Brand Releases A New Wool Blanket Made From Recycled Jumpers

The pioneering Australian label releases a new recycled blanket spun from old woollen jumpers and garments.

On The Market

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Turned Contemporary Family Home (With Two Rooftop Terraces!)

A sleek renovation in one of Melbourne’s most coveted inner city locales revives this heritage home - and it's on the market!
Sasha Gattermayr

Work Space

A Monumental New Headquarters For Fashion Trailblazers Incu

Take a tour of Incu's dreamy new headquarters in Sydney, incorporating retail store and head office, designed by Akin Atelier.
Sasha Gattermayr

Stays

A Modernist-Inspired Getaway On The Mornington Peninsula

This architecturally-designed getaway nestled in the sand dunes behind St Andrews beach is your next holiday destination!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

A New Handmade Homewares Brand Launches With A Knock-Out First Collection!

Ancient artefacts and modernist interiors have inspired this experience local textile designer’s first homewares collection.
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

Ornate, Oozing Ceramics By Ebony Russell

A Sydney artist exploring the space between decorative art and feminine power.
Sasha Gattermayr

News

An Architecture-Inspired Furniture Exhibition Opens This Week In Canberra

Two designers launch a collection of conceptual furniture inspired by the stylistic patterns of Japanese streetscapes!

News

Street Artist Rone's First Book Is Released!

Read all about it – a new book chronicles the prolific Melbourne artist’s two decades on the Australian art scene.

Creative People

Terrazzo Queen Tantri Mustika's New Shop + Studio!

The big-dreaming Melbourne ceramicist has just opened the doors to her new retail store in Collingwood Yards, Melbourne!

TDF Design Awards

Announcing Our 2020 The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards FINALISTS!

It's a big one today, people! From Architects, to Landscape Designers, Furniture Designers, Craft practitioners and more... say hello to the...
Lucy Feagins
  20 hours ago

Gardens

A Cascading, Compact Garden That Envelopes This Sydney Home

Greenery spills in from every angle in this suburban garden designed by Bell Landscapes!
Sasha Gattermayr

Family

Designer, Businesswoman and Mother Fatuma Ndenzako Weaves Dual Cultures Into Something Beautiful

We chat to one half of the sister-duo behind Collective Closets about motherhood, her thriving fashion label, and growing up African in Alto...
Ashe Davenport

Homes

A Photographer’s Rustic Country Home (With Its Own Private Bar!)

The charming Macedon Ranges home of photographer Marnie Hawson, and her husband Ryan.

Architecture

Go Inside Australia’s Most Incredible Architectural Homes - For A Great Cause!

To replace their annual fundraiser, The Robin Boyd Foundation launches Virtual Open House, offering the chance to video-tour through award-w...
Sasha Gattermayr
  12 hours ago

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Secluded Writer’s Hut Masquerading As Part Of The Garden

A creative writer is living the dream in this secluded backyard shed!
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Verdant Garden In Fitzroy North

An insanely lush inner city garden, created by landscape designer Amanda Oliver.
Georgina Reid

Gardens

A Garden Of Native and Exotic Plants On The Mornington Peninsula

A visit to a Merricks Beach garden, featuring Australian natives, succulents and grasses - and no irrigation!
Georgina Reid