Private Residence

Location: Buckinghamshire

Client: Private Client

Status: Ongoing

The property is located in a Buckinghamshire village. Its eastern boundary is bordered by beautiful view across the hills over the River Misbourne and North by existing mature trees.

This fully renovated and extended home now has a contemporary glass panel on the  rear elevation of the house, which will allow the views from across the site to flow through towards the house. The aim was to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor and balance the architectural form with the landscape.

The client required a functional and useable space for a Kitchen Garden as well as aesthetically pleasing zones for relaxed seating and entertainment.

The Design Approach: Fukinsei, the Imperfect Code

Exposing ourselves to traditional Japanese design aesthetics is a good exercise in lateral thinking, changing concepts and perception. Thinking about design by exploring the tenets of the Zen aesthetic is a good exercise in challenging ourselves to think differently about composition, juxtapositions and spatial relationships.

Fukinsei is a concept that comes from ‘wabi sabi’ which is a Japanese concept of aesthetics. It has a modern meaning of ‘rustic simplicity’ or ‘flawed beauty’ and forms the ‘first universal truth’ in Zen Buddhism implying that nothing is perfect, nothing lasts, nothing is finished.

Asymmetry, odd numbers, irregularity, unevenness, imbalance is used as a denial of perfection as perfection and symmetry do not occur in nature. The idea of controlling balance in a composition via irregularity and asymmetry is a central tenet of this Zen aesthetic. The Enso (“Zen circle”) in brush painting, for example, is often drawn as an incomplete circle, symbolizing the imperfection that is part of existence.

Service offered: Design & Landscaping

“The landscape design work Vicki and her team provided has been nothing but exemplary. We gave a complex client brief and Vicki completely understood what we were trying to achieve. It was such a joy to work with CGLA from the concept, through detailed construction plans, to the final planting.

Now the garden is complete, our neighbors and every casual passer by make the effort to stop and compliment. We were looking for an outdoor space we could enjoy ourselves and such a degree of external appreciation was unexpected and testament to employing CGLA from the outset.

For us its not a question as to whether you should engage with Cool Gardens, is more how you can afford not to. Our outside space is an extension of our inside living space and is joyous. Thank you, Vicki and the team!”

Jas, October 2023

CGLA are an award winning team of Landscape Architects, Garden Designers  Landscapers and Garden Maintenance Operatives working in Buckinghamshire, London and the South East, as well as on prestigious design projects across the UK and abroad. We are currently working in Oman, Jersey and France, and welcome enquires for design, landscaping or garden maintenance. Contact us here