Old meets new in this Malvern project, which sees a 1930s house, a contemporary addition, existing mature trees, and new landscaping come together on one site, to spectacular effect! The project’s success hinges on the equally important contribution of the architects, Taylor Knights, and Ben Scott Garden Design, who together have turned this home’s previously inward focus to the outdoors.
The clients were seeking an adaptable, zoned home to nurture their young family, as well as provide comfortable accommodation for guests. With this in mind, Taylor Knights designed a diverse, equally-distributed arrangement of shared and secluded spaces across the home’s existing and new buildings, introducing a northerly aspect wherever possible.
This house is the client’s forever home – a sentiment reflected in the enduring, durable qualities of its materials, particularly in the concrete addition. ‘The formal, yet immediately tactile use of concrete evokes a sense of permanence, and creates a space of daily ritual and refuge,’ says Taylor Knights director, Peter Knights. This addition sits on the highest level of the site, and contains the new kitchen and dining areas.
The garden is an inextricable part of this project. Terraced over three levels, Ben Scott has created a multi-dimensional landscape that can be used both actively and passively by the young family owners. ‘Every element of the garden supports the principles of the architecture, that seek to provide flexible and adaptable spaces for the growing family,’ says Peter. The architect describes the garden as an animated, immersive experience, that captures the wonder and imagination of a child’s mind.
As well as building on existing century old elm and oak trees, the new landscaping introduces more modern, multifunctional spaces. The new rooftop garden, for example, is not only a wonderful aesthetic addition to the home, but also a source of insulation. Vegetation spills over the edges of this rooftop garden, adopting an appearance akin to an ancient ruin.
Gardens are too often a secondary feature of modern homes, making this project particularly special. The Malvern Garden House is a shining example of what can be achieved when an architect and garden designer work together to create better outcomes, to the benefit of all those involved.