May 20, 2011 10:01 pm

Updating the 18th-century

English landscapes are also in demand. My latest is near Kiev in Ukraine.

At its heart, a private modernist villa overlooks open countryside and is the main residence of the family, although they have several other homes. The architecture is modern, bold bordering on brutal, and uncompromisingly geometrical.

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IN House & Home

The scheme runs to eight hectares and features a restored lake. The Ukrainian architect was tasked by the client to find an English landscaper: me.

The grounds required contouring and landscaping in a way that could be interpreted as an update of the English landscape style of the 18th century. The client suggested stylised versions of natural features including a dry river bed which snakes through a birch forest underplanted with wild flowers.

The areas adjacent to the house respond directly to the architecture. They are contemporary and minimal, yet the planted structure is clipped and formal: a modern take on a parterre. Linear stone walls which reach out like fingers from the villa penetrate the landscape and link the rigid lines of the architecture to the relaxed landscape. These walls run at a constant height with the ground rising and falling alongside so that they function as paths, walls, structure and sculpture.

Many other British landscapers are also in demand internationally.

James Doyle of James Doyle Design Associates is originally from Ireland but has set up a business in Greenwich, Connecticut, which specialises in large English-style estates with budgets up to $3m.

Many of his clients’ estates were created in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries, with houses in the English architectural style. Old Mill Farm in Greenwich, is 75 acres and has a faux-Elizabethan mansion at its centre. In 2009 the landscape design, which took 14 years to complete, won a Palladio Award that recognises outstanding traditional design in the US.

Robert Myers Associates, meanwhile, based in Herefordshire, in the UK, is best known for its work on public spaces that integrate development into important cultural or historic settings. Several years ago, the company completed a public space in the City of London. “We were then asked by our client to export that look across the Atlantic to Boston,” says Robert Myers. The brief was to create two public parks with the character of a London square, overlooking the harbour at Seaport Boulevard.

The area is laid out around a central lawn surrounded by a meandering brick path with numerous benches set in niches among the rich shrub and herbaceous planting.

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Details

Andy Sturgeon, www.andysturgeon.com

Randle Siddeley, www.randlesiddeley.co.uk

Dan Pearson, www.danpearsonstudio.com

Kim Wilkie, www.kimwilkie.com

James Doyle Design Associates, www.jdda.com

Robert Myers Associates, www.robertmyers-associates.co.uk

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