We spoke with the director of Eckersley Garden Architecture, Scott Leung, about the vision behind the landscape design of Inkerman & Nelson. With a concept centred around subtle, relaxed and livable gardens, Scott discusses how he plans to transform the former industrial site into a visual joy.
What was the overall look you were hoping to create with Inkerman & Nelson?
Our goal was to create a series of relaxed gardens that residents could take ownership of. ICON and MAArchitects briefed us on their vision for the project and we worked with them to weave the understated garden style into the concept. We aimed to give new life to the old industrial site and make a positive visual contribution to the surrounds. Greening and softening of the angular forms of the building fabric was a priority. The concept then developed as a result of the collective vision of the project team.
How does Inkerman & Nelson’s landscaping differ?
The garden reveals itself only once you have entered the site through the laneways between the buildings and forms a major part of the sense of arrival into the residences. The layout creates a gentle journey for residents and visitors. The pathways and features allow you to be slowly drawn in through the series of public garden spaces until you arrive at your front door.
Do you have a favourite feature?
The creeper covered arbour links the gardens along the main path, visually and spatially, to become a network of interconnected spaces. This is my favourite feature because it acts as a built and green element that serves to informally define both the private and public spaces. It is a unifying element – no matter where you are in the garden you feel connected to it.
As the private gardens are an extension of the homes, what features did you have to consider?
Protection of privacy for the residents was paramount, so it was important to ensure the outdoor surface treatments served both as garden rooms to extend usable living space, but also form part of the greenery. Ground covers help by growing between the hard surfaces to provide a softening element and visible plants, trees and climbers on adjacent garden spaces extend each private garden, effectively borrowing landscaped spaces from their surrounds.
How did you go about creating a space that allows for neighbourhood interaction or a moment of privacy?
Planting layers and the vertical screening created by the climbers along the boundaries of individual gardens help to create a sense of privacy for each residence. Some plant types will be maintained to a specific height so when sitting down the space becomes intimate; only when you stand up can you see what is happening around you.
From past experience, what are the key features residents want from landscape design?
Our clients come to Eckersley Garden Architecture for beautiful, livable gardens that can be enjoyed at all times of the year and at all times of the day. Seasonal plants that are appropriate for Melbourne’s weather and site conditions create change and interest in the garden throughout the year. We provide our clients with a garden that they can easily look after, be proud of and relax in – a retreat from the everyday.
Visit the Inkerman & Nelson website – https://www.inkermanandnelson.com.au