Capturing the essence of native Australian bushland whilst adding some elegance, structure and functionality, Mike Cass, has perfectly harnessed, sculpted, manicured and grated the five acres of land surrounding this Northern Beaches home. Incorporating a swimming pool, tennis court, half-sized football field, outdoor entertaining areas, and multiple considered gardens, the extensive redesign is a beautiful example of the possibilities the Australian landscape has to offer.
Adding a touch of drama and grandeur, the sweeping, circular driveway showcases the beauty of the property, emphasising open spaces as sunlight gently filters through native trees and draws visitors in. This sophisticated theme is continued throughout the landscape in the form of deliberate stone paths which lead through the gardens to private entertaining spaces.
With the utmost respect for the natural environment, the team was able to reuse many of the elements of the land. While such a large project was challenging and required significant planning and effort, the many diverse spaces meant that all excavated material was able to be reused. Large amounts of sandstone and soil were reclaimed and recycled in the new design, which included transplanting and maintaining established trees and plants where possible – reducing waste and maintaining the balance and energy of a mature ecosystem without sacrificing the beauty of a remodel.
Through a combination of formal and informal planting and the inclusion of existing fauna, the property was able to accommodate a large edible garden as well as serene, undisturbed floral gardens and bush vegetation. By shaping and channelling the riverbeds leading to a naturally occurring dam, the design takes into consideration the complications of overflow as well as the ability to provide regular irrigation to the gardens.
Framed by a curved white wall on one side and glass on the other, the fluid, organic shape of the swimming pool ensures it is not out of place amongst its tree lined backdrop. The measured inclusion of man-made features such as a firepit and pizza oven is subtle and minimalist so as not to detract from the reposed natural surroundings.
Mike Cass is an internationally acclaimed designer who places creativity at the heart of all he does.
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