Allocating Spaces

It is likely that as part of a site visit you will be ‘allocating’ various types of spaces for different locations on the site. This might be something as simple as making mental notes or you could make a bubble diagram similar to those shown below. Here, taking account of sun/shade and thought from the client.

These diagrams offer a useful starting point when beginning detailed design.

Let’s look at some of these spaces.

Entrances and front gardens

It is important to reduce the impact of driveways and parked vehicles. If possible, we try and turn the front garden into a usable space. Here is an example. Wooden gates disguise the driveway. A hardwood arbor encourages visitors to use the gate. A change of level indicates that the visitor has reached a private space. The low retaining wall guides visitors up to a wide entrance patio. to the left, the designer has specifies a small circular wooden deck that leads to a sunken entertaining space. This space is well screened from the street.

This concept design puts a front garden to a multiplicity of uses and turns its back on the driveway. Note the use of a pathway (with a running bond brick pattern) embedded in the driveway that guides a visitor to the front door of the house. Again, the vehicle becomes a minor player.

Paving embedded into a crushed granite path, artwork, etc. guides the visitor to the entrance of this property.

Some interesting paving combinations provides a dramatic entrance and creates a usable ‘square’ screened from view.

Rear gardens

Here we are dealing with a number of outdoor rooms. There is likely a need to provide areas for conversation, cooking, dining, active play, vegetable and services. There will usually be a requirement for a space for gathering as people move from inside the house to the garden.

Conversation and dining areas

These spaces need to ‘protected’ form foot traffic. Raising or dropping the areas, surrounding the space with low walls at seating height and sometimes overhead structures like umbrellas and pergolas can help create and reinforce this feeling of semi isolation – a special place with a defined function.