MODERN HOUSE GARDEN
After reading featured articles about my work and my studio in Belgian magazines, and seeing our installation for Maison & Objet Paris show, the client contacted me to ask my opinion about a project he had ongoing in the French Riviera in Saint-Tropez.
Due to the tight schedule, I reworked all the project for him in 2 weeks and that’s how we started our collaboration. Then I worked with him on a 20 hectares country estate in Belgium with horses, and after that on this modern townhouse in Uccle, an upmarket residential area of Brussels.
City planning in residential areas in Europe implies many rules and limitations and we had to comply with these rules while catering to the client’s needs and turning our vision into reality. The house, the building itself, is from a well know architect famous for his resolutely modern monolithic constructions. This had to be composed with in order to extend the building permit to the outdoors, which were not included in the original permits and planning, that was the first challenge we encountered for this project. The ground and levels alterations that we had to put in place actually dictated the whole set-up and design of the landscaping project.
On both sides of the garden are neighbors’ houses and a small forest is at the end of the garden.
The landscape development focus was double: shielding our client property from the adjacent properties and linking it visually to the forest background.
To match both the property location and the building style we worked on two radically different proposals for this project, one with round and organic lines to break the solid contemporary building mass, and one very straight, neat and edgy to mirror the building style. The client went for the second option, leading to a very modern result.
For this garden we revisited and adapted the French formal garden with a modern twist. All the classical parts of a formal garden are featured, from the entrance with water works, mirror pools, geometrically trimmed trees throughout all the property.
In order to stay in tune with the modernity of the building we chose to work with very specific materials. Weathering steel provided both character and lightness to the structural parts of the landscape. Fired clay pots, custom made colored concrete slabs and of course lots of vegetal elements.
I already had used concrete slabs for flooring on another project. I wanted to use that again here, we needed 1 m x 2 m green colored concrete slabs that would blend-in with the foliage. We used other mineral materials but all in vegetal tones, green and beige, not urban color codes.
As a result, the garden is not purely ornamental. While providing great views from inside the house it also serves many functions and offers several living spaces, this was the project’s priority, mixing lifestyle and architecture.
Accreditation : Xavier LOUP STUDIO
Architect : Bruno ERPICUM
Landscape Architect : Xavier LOUP STUDIO
Furniture manufacturer : RODA, Decasteli, Paola Lenti
Lighting : IGUZZINI
Image & Sound : BOSE
Destination : PRIVATE HOUSE GARDEN
Location : UCLES (BELGIUM / NORTH EUROPE)
Year : 2013
Land Space : 1000 m2
- Rhododendron, from Lake Garda in Italy
- Pariotia persica, trees prune into cube
- Leptinella, moss
- Custom made concrete slabs
- Weathering steel elevated ground
- Custom made terracota pot