Courtyard garden with roof terrace

Work is continuing apace on an angular courtyard garden in Hackney, with a roof terrace. It’s been a complicated job, involving to-ing and fro-ing with a structural engineer, a rotten joist supporting the doors to the roof terrace, crumbling walls, along with the fact there are no straight lines in the garden. It’s the kind of project where much of the problem-solving is done on site, and this one has gone smoothly thanks to a brilliant contractor and flexible, decisive clients.

I had wanted to reuse some lovely deco-style metal balustrades, but they proved too expensive to restore and make safe, so we’ve gone with Iroko posts and rails to match the roof deck, and glass panels between, which will look sleek and modern, if a bit less individual.

There have been quite a few changes as we’ve gone along. Originally the clients wanted to repaint some existing mdf panels around the garden, but they have been persuaded to replace these with acrylic, which will float in the space and have lights behind that will glow at night. In a space this small, it’s all about the detail, and it’s often harder to work with existing features, as they can look really shabby against the crisp, clean lines of new paving.

There are two levels in the main garden, and the original Heath Robinson construction was rotten, dangerous and made the space unusable. We’ve put in steps from the ground to the lower level, making two distinct seating areas, with a ground level, rendered bed linking the two.

Terrace view 2 onto courtyard
The final touch will be the planting that will soften everything. It’s what brings a garden like this to life.

Work is continuing apace in a angular courtyard garden in Hackney, with a roof terrace. It’s been a complicated job, involving to-ing and fro-ing with a structural engineer, a rotten joist supporting the doors to the roof terrace, crumbling walls, along with the fact there are no straight lines in the garden. It’s the kind of project where much of the problem-solving is done on site, and this one has gone smoothly thanks to a brilliant contractor and flexible, decisive clients.
I had wanted to reuse some lovely deco-style metal balustrades, but they proved too expensive to restore and make safe, so we’ve gone with Iroko posts and rails to match the roof deck, and glass panels between, which will look sleek and modern, if a bit less individual.
There have been quite a few changes as we’ve gone along. Originally the clients wanted to repaint some existing mdf panels around the garden, but they have been persuaded to replace these with acrylic, which will float in the space and have lights behind that will glow at night. In a space this small, it’s all about the detail, and it’s often harder to work with existing features, as they can look really shabby against the crisp, clean lines of new paving.
There are two levels in the main garden, and the original Heath Robinson construction was rotten, dangerous and made the space unusable. We’ve put in steps from the ground to the lower level, making two distinct seating areas, with a ground level, rendered bed linking the two.
The final touch will be the planting that will soften everything. It’s what brings a garden like this to life.

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