Enlisted to renovate an apartment in Manhattan's East Village, architects Melissa Baker and Jon Handley, partners at pulltab design, took inspiration from the city's community gardens. The architects worked with a series of custom stainless steel armatures designed to hold modular and custom planted cells. The cells took four months of greenhouse nurturing before they were ready for installation.
Minute details and judiciously applied materials came together at a refined home in San Francisco. Inspired by visits to Japan, architect Cary Bernstein did not build to the property lines. She left open about three-and-a-half feet on each side of the house: “These little side gardens make rooms feel bigger, since they make nature part of your interiors and bring light and air circulation into the house,” Bernstein says.
For her largest project to date—a steeply sloping rear garden for a young family in the Berkeley Hills—architect Mary Barensfeld created an outdoor room for quiet contemplation that echoes Le Corbusier’s oft-quoted dictum, “The outside is always an inside.” The 1,150-square-foot garden serves as an elegant transition from the couple’s 1964 Japanese-style town house to a small, elevated terrace with views of San Francisco Bay.
Delving into the ecological habitats of New York City while weaving together urban and green spaces, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects created a thoughtful garden space spread over six floors of an 1899 Carnegie Hill town house.
With a wild approach, award-winning designer Margie Ruddick pushes the boundaries of landscaping. Ruddick's Urban Garden Room brings nature inside—in this case to the lobby of the Bank of America Tower in midtown Manhattan.
Architects Anne Marie Lubrano and Lea Ciavarra are known for taking a restrained and thoughtful approach to the spaces they design. “Our attitude is that materials should be honest, resulting in a space that presents itself as simple, comprehensible, and ultimately soothing,” Lubrano says. And that was precisely what guided their transformation of a three story, 19th-century town house and garden in Manhattan.
An ipe deck slopes sharply skyward behind Amy Persin’s house in Menlo Park, California, creating a secluded backyard getaway that feels like an outdoor extension of her living room. The vertical planter in the deck contains ten varieties of succulents.
Far from pandering to the whine of youth, this urban play garden fosters thoughtful interaction in a protected setting within the bustle of San Francisco. Rather than resist the natural slope of the Buena Vista Heights backyard, landscape architect Eric Blasen composed a well-considered, minimal, multiterraced space.
For photographer Ed Reeve, building his own house was a lifelong dream. When he met architect David Adjaye, and found the perfect plot of land in London’s De Beauvoir Town, Reeve knew his time had come. What at first seems to be a stark use of artificially dark wood reveals itself to be unironically natural: a soothing, woodsy backdrop for Reeve's home in the bustling city. A garden of small herbs and vines creates a fan of green as the plants creep up the outside walls.