Project: Residential garden
Project Team: Wendy Kirkpatrick, Luis Medeiros + Cathal O’Meara
Cathal O’Meara Landscape Architects worked with Architects Scott Tallon Walker on this tight coastal site. Initially the client brief was to create an useable landscape to enable access to the coastline. However site excavations revealed extensive masses of buried rock.
This rock became a design driver for the site and it was exposed wherever it was found. This created a leading element in the external palette and suggested complimentary materials for the ground plane. A further element guiding the hard palette was Kilkenny Limestone. In areas this was used as a large piece and brought onsite cut. These cut pieces were then roughhewn onsite with a hammer to reflect the materiality of the containing landscape. The use of limestone throughout the site was paired with smooth washed beech gravel.
From the outset we identified elements of the borrowed landscape to appropriate within the site. This selection guided the use of Monterey Pines and Scots Pines in some areas to make a connection with the adjacent headland on the coastal side of the main house. Gorse and Molinia grasses were also used in areas where the exposed rocks would represent a fall hazard. Where exposed crags of rock were left we used thorny Devil’s Walking Sticks (Aralia elata). To limit views into adjacent properties within the site Eleagnus ebgenii were used in half standard pleached forms. A significant native woodland was planted to shelter the site and to contain a sauna.