Passivhaus and Family Garden

Apt were invited during the architectural design stages to collaborate and ensure that the outdoor and indoor spaces really sang together.  This modern ‘Passivhaus’ designed by Paul Testa Architecture is environmentally energy efficient, thus reducing the building’s carbon footprint. Being a Passivhaus, our clients were keen to have a garden that reflected their eco-values and embrace a more naturalistic planting style.  They also required space for children’s play and adventure, lawn, wildflower meadow and a sophisticated space for adults.

Our first task was to plant Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) hedging to create privacy screening ready for the clients move into their newly built house, as it was situated adjacent to a public footbath with no boundaries.  The Carpinus hedge framed the boundary of the whole garden to create continuity and seasonal colour.  We designed and constructed a level threshold patio from the kitchen with a level decked dining area and adjacent sunken seating space encased with more Carpinus hedge and decadent planting.  The decked patio area was set in front of a cedar feature screen to provide privacy from neighbours and ambient lighting.  The sunken seating area could also be illuminated in the evenings alongside gently bubbling water troughs creating a homely relaxed atmosphere.

Rectangular planting beds with perennial planting and multi-stem Amelanchier’s broke the large lawn up and flanked broken paved stepping stones. Three cuboid pergolas punctuate the garden creating focal seating points from the office, kitchen and outdoor dining area.

An area under mature Sycamore trees was given up to create a kid friendly play area with mud kitchen, bespoke climbing frame, willow walkway and wild flower meadow.

The planting in this garden will take time to establish but has been designed to really fill out, creating waves of colour, form and texture. We can’t wait to revisit this garden to see the planting in full bloom.