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4 Ways Nature & Built Environments Work Together

We believe that great design incorporates the following 4 design concepts (to varying degrees) in order to maximize the relationship between built environments and nature.

FRAME & BORROW VIEWS

Structures in the built environment can be designed to frame a view of nature (or skylines). Like the below photo, the entrance and hallway frames the view of the backyard.

Frame View_1
DWELL Magazine. POSTED BY: Kelsey Mulvey

Borrowing views is a concept that dates back to the 18th century in England. “The furniture and landscape designer William Kent is said to be the first to recognize that land outside a garden’s designed space could appear to be part of it. He understood that someone else’s fields or farmlands could be ‘borrowed’ visually to make one’s own lands seem larger.”  

Both images below borrow nature to make their gardens feel larger, whether the lake or the field.

Borrowed View_1
DWELL Magazine. POSTED BY: Frits de Vries Architects + Associates Ltd. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ema Peter
Photo: Patterson Webster. Garden: Glen Villa Gardens

BLURRING THE LINES

Blurring the lines between natural and built creates a seamless transition that is more comfortable and inviting. Nature should creep in and built spaces should creep out. Feeling like you’re indoors as well as outdoors is the place of connection.

Blurring_1
Photo: Cesar Rubio. Project by: Longwell MacDonald
Blurring_2
DWELL Magazine. Photo by: Ema Peter

CREATE A DESTINATION

This concept is all about the outdoor room, which is a specific area with a specific function, such as seating area around a fire feature or even a vegetable garden.  Each area/room is positioned in nature, not to look like it magically appeared, but to have a sense of privacy and mystique. 

Destination_1
Photo by: Joe Fletcher. Architects: Feldman Architecture
Destination_2
Photo by: Saxon Holt / PhotoBotanic.com

EXPERIENCE THE JOURNEY

Getting from point A to point B should not look like a sterile hallway in a hospital. With every turn and glance the experience should be enjoyable while creating anticipation of where you’re going. This is especially true if you’re walking from building to the next or from one point of your garden to another.

Journey_1
POSTED BY: Joanna Shaw. PHOTOGRAPHER: Jeff Roberts
Journey_3
Wallace Landscape Associates

If you’re interested in seeing the integrate of built and native environments for your own home, contact us today

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