The client had recently moved into this detached executive home in Barnet. The garden to the rear of the building had been landscaped by the previous owners but the house has an unusual lower storey due to the slope it is built into. This left a sterile courtyard space that visually linked the cinema room and downstairs sitting room. A very dark and almost hostile space with a concrete set of stairs leading up out of the space. The challenge was to link the rooms and use the space to compliment the aspect

Using stone filled gabions we stepped the wall out of the area and created planting beds for verdant and jungle like foliage plants that would thrive in the conditions. Hakenacloa macra, Acer palmatum and ‘Hosta Sum and Substance’ jostle with Arum lilies and Fatsia japonica, creating a cooling micro climate. The steps were clad in a grey sand stone and widened out at the bottom to invite one to climb up when ready. A hard wood decking using IPE boards at 155mm wide gave a generous feel to the floor space. We repeated this underneath the upper deck and included extra recessed lights here to help illuminate the courtyard further. A bespoke water feature, complete with a spill way really brought the space alive and gave it a kind of South American lost city feel. The space has now taken on a roomed feel and with the doors of the house open a welcome additional room to spill out into day or night.