The Hilgard Garden

View all 11 Photos

Winner of the 2015 ASLA-NCC Top Residential Design Award, this stunning outdoor space successfully brings together an age-old Zen atmosphere, strikingly modern angles and shapes, and a mix of complementing materials in a creative garden design. Located in the back yard of a townhouse built in the 1964 in Berkeley, California, this outdoor area provides an isolated space for relaxation away from the busy city while at the top it offers breathtaking views across the bay, with the Sutro Tower and San Francisco visible in the distance. The 5 Elements Design studio completed the project in collaboration with the YR Architecture + Design firm. The garden was built around the existing three Japanese maple trees and a winding ramp made of concrete walls and steel accents was used instead of stairs. This hidden path is defined by geometric shapes that add visual impact and perfectly contrast the organic plant life while also providing access to terraced planting areas. Aromatic ground cover, climbing pants, trees, and lush vegetation bring a sense of peacefulness, enhanced by the calm surface of the pool. At the bottom of the garden, a patio made of white granite can be accessed through the home’s living room, and offers an ideal leisure area for the owners and their guests. The more private top patio can be used as a sunbathing spot, a place for relaxation with a book, or to admire San Francisco at dusk. Dark brown wood, gray concrete, and white granite are used in a perfect balance of materials and textures. A water-jet cut steel screen boasting a weathered surface provides a dual function as a future bamboo planter and as a screen giving privacy from the neighbors’ yard. At night, a warm orange light adds another visual dimension and brings the garden to life as the night falls. Photography by Joe Fletcher.

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

More for you

                array(5) {
  ["post__not_in"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    int(163183)
  }
  ["tag__not_in"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    int(16203)
    [1]=>
    int(9208)
  }
  ["posts_per_page"]=>
  int(12)
  ["caller_get_posts"]=>
  int(1)
  ["cat"]=>
  int(6178)
}
            
  • Collector’s Retreat

    Embedded in a woodland landscape, this retreat has art gallery-like spaces that open to nature….

  • Balcony House

    An ingenious house design that follows the topography of the landscape. Named Balcony House, this…

  • Camp O in the Catskills, New York

    This architect’s Catskill house-studio re-imagines vernacular architecture. Located in Claryville, the Catskill Mountains – only…

  • The HBK Spectris Innovation Center

    A cleverly designed work space that establishes a dialogue between offices, meeting spaces, leisure areas,…

  • Jazz Up Residence

    A renovation and expansion of a 1900s Victorian house. Located in the charming Brunswick neighborhood…

  • Woodpecker Ranch

    A complete redesign of a modern farmhouse in the Bay Area, California. Completed by Feldman…

  • Hollywood Hills House

    Kristen Becker’s Hollywood Hills House: A modest California residence with an industrial edge A bespoke…

  • The Shed by Hufft

    A simple cabin that celebrates the clarity and precision of prefabricated buildings. Completed by Kansas…

Take me there

  • The Six Senses Shaharut Hotel

    The ultimate Israel desert hotel experience. As part of a planned 60-hotel expansion over the…

  • Design Destination: Paris

    A Complete Guide to the Weekend in Paris of a Lifetime Paris. The city everyone…

  • Hotel Pacai

    A one of a kind, award-winning hotel that blends 17th-century elements with contemporary design. At…