St Kilda West

Gio Ponti

Designing a garden is a rewarding practice for me, and it’s even more rewarding when the house I design the garden for is beautiful. This job was exactly one of this case: a 1940  art deco building renovated by Stephen Akehurst Architects for which I had to design a front garden, an internal courtyard, the back garden and the balconies.

The clients had an Italian background and they ask me to bring the touch of my Country in the project. I then took the decision to give homage to one of the best Italian designers of all the time: Gio’ Ponti. He designed at any scale: from a skyscraper to a chair to a porcelain plate.

My inspiration was a mosaic that he designed for the ‘Parco dei Principi’ hotel in Sorrento. I used the same design for the paving of the front garden and the internal courtyard: they are both mainly seen from above, so I wanted something graphical and simple. In the front garden a multi stem Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ grows with Buxus hedges underneath. The internal courtyard, quite shady, is the perfect spot for Fatsia japonica and Hydrangea macrophilla, along with Buxus balls.

On the balconies I used Italian terracotta pots from Laboratorio Sanrocco, where I planted Cycas revoluta and Buxus balls.

The back garden is the outdoor entertaining space of the house, with a pool and an outdoor kitchen below a timber pergola.