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 Lush + Functional Queensland Courtyard

Gardens

The owners of this architecturally designed home in St Lucia, Brisbane have lived here for more than two decades. In the time since, the home (originally designed by revered Queensland architectural firm Donovan Hill – now Partners Hill) has aged gracefully, but the garden required fresh attention.

So, recently, the homeowners engaged landscape architect Dan Young to redesign the central courtyard to suit the family’s changing needs. The result is a garden that matches the rhythms and materials of the residence, and strikes the crucial balance between aesthetic appeal and functionality. It’s a sub-tropical beauty!

13th July, 2021

Looking back at the house from the raised green area which is laid with Luca Crazy Paving from Eco Outdoor .Photo – Andy Macpherson.

Luca Crazy Paving from Eco Outdoor was used in the raised garden bed. Photo – Andy Macpherson.

The new garden informs the materiality and volumes of the house. Photo – Andy Macpherson.

The garden strikes a fine balance between aesthetic and functional. Photo – Andy Macpherson.

Deciduous trees provide shade in summer and allow sun to enter the house during winter. Photo – Andy Macpherson.

Decking services the main doors and entry points to the courtyard while concrete steps lead up to the crazy paved green area. Photo – Andy Macpherson.

Three sides of the garden are edged by the house, while the fourth is bordered by the perimeter fence. Photo – Andy Macpherson.

How good is that crazy paving?! Photo – Andy Macpherson.

Sasha Gattermayr
Tuesday 13th July 2021

The key to a great courtyard is a balance between built forms and planted greenery. This maxim is proved true in the case of the Y3 Garden by landscape architect Dan Young.

‘The clients were looking for a reasonably low maintenance garden that would screen some neighbouring dwellings, and also discourage their dogs from digging in the garden,’ says Dan. ‘Finding a balance between planting density and traversability was the most important consideration.’

This was especially true given the placement of the garden in relation to the architecture. Sitting at the centre of the property, the house wraps around the garden on three sides, and the boundary line fences it in on the fourth. This leaves the garden at the heart of the property, providing a green outlook to all communal parts of the house as well as a thoroughfare from one side to the other. 

As such, the design had to reconcile these competing aesthetic and utilitarian demands. Decking skirts the perimeter to transition doors and entry-points to the denser parts of the garden. A raised garden bed sits in the middle, housing layered green plantings and deciduous trees that provide shade in summer and light in winter. This raised level is serviced by concrete steps, which lead up to the crazy-paved path that winds its way through the greenery. 

‘The planting palette was composed broadly to draw from the grey tones of ageing timber, and pushed into hues of green that are deliberately non-tropical. We felt that the vividness of a sub-tropical palette would perhaps be overwhelming in an area with uninhibited morning and midday sun,’ says Dan. ‘For the hard paving surfaces, we selected Luca Crazy Paving from Eco Outdoor for its naturalistic form and how it complements the overall garden tones.’

The final garden is a relaxed, low-maintenance space that makes the most of its position in a transitional zone. The result is a lush, versatile outdoor space that will service this house and its residents for many years to come!

This project is shortlisted in the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, in the Landscape Design Category – proudly supported by Eco Outdoor.

See more projects from Dan Young Landscape here

This Week

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

News

An Exhibition Of Abstract, Thought-Provoking Pieces Is On Now At Heide

See a line-up of abstract works exploring negative space and time, featuring leading Australians and world-famous artists like Anish Kapoor!...
Sponsored

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.
Amelia Barnes
  1 hour ago

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!
Bea Taylor
  9 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Fresh Courtyard Garden In Paddington With Californian Vibes

Garden Life update a tired inner-Sydney courtyard with a textured, elegant design that begs for a sunny afternoon Spritz!

Gardens

A Space-Saving Courtyard That Makes Something From Nothing

If you've ever doubted the power of good landscape design, look no further than the inspiring transformation of this residential courtyard b...

Gardens

An Amazingly Abundant Lawn-Free Garden

A meadow-style planting palette by Peachy Green brings beauty and wilderness to this functional family backyard in Northcote.

This Week

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

News

An Exhibition Of Abstract, Thought-Provoking Pieces Is On Now At Heide

See a line-up of abstract works exploring negative space and time, featuring leading Australians and world-famous artists like Anish Kapoor!...
Sponsored

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!
Bea Taylor
  9 hours ago

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.
Amelia Barnes
  1 hour ago

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Fresh Courtyard Garden In Paddington With Californian Vibes

A tired inner-Sydney courtyard gets a textured, elegant makeover.

Gardens

A Space-Saving Courtyard That Makes Something From Nothing

An inspiring residential courtyard transformation by Kathleen Murphy Landscape Design takes this space from drab to fab.

Gardens

An Amazingly Abundant Lawn-Free Garden

A meadow-style planting palette by Peachy Green brings beauty and wilderness to this functional family backyard in Northcote.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net