What: Luxury rooftop garden
Who: Parisian-born landscape architect Christian Préaud is the founder of Atelier Jardins. The designer has a background as a decorator, photographer and an advertising film producer. His multidisciplinary background, alongside his travels and international childhood which he spent in Morocco and France, has shaped his design aesthetics. Each of his projects and concepts is a chance for him to express his love of gardens and nature, and an opportunity to incorporate the beauty of nature in our everyday life. His portfolio of private gardens spans international borders, including France, Switzerland, Morocco, the Middle East and Asia.
Winter is coming. To stave off the impending seasonal gloom, what better than to spend some time in a lush green private rooftop garden, relaxing with friends and enjoying a barbecue while admiring our beautiful skyline?
Landscape architect Christian Préaud, who is the founder of Atelier Jardins, feels that gardens should be enjoyed all year round. He believes that gardens and terraces are a natural outside extension of indoor living spaces; that they should have a sense of continuity, and co-exist to better serve the needs of the people who make use of them.
“The main concept for this terrace is to break down the stiff and slightly pompous building style with a curvaceous and rounded structure using warm materials, and linking the various areas of the terrace,” Préaud says.
To bring his concept to life, Préaud installs a batten teak bench which snakes around the entire terrace. Along the side of the wooden benching, the designer places tall potted plants, such as birches and Fire Glow maples of various heights – offering glimpses of our spectacular skyline while also providing privacy for the owner.
The garden terrace contains multiple sections: on one end sits a large lounge area best for relaxing in and kicking back with friends and family, while a vast dining area and an outdoor kitchen are situated on the other end. In the middle, Préaud has crafted a “chill-out area”,
where there is a belvedere-like jacuzzi.
To suit his philosophy that a garden should be enjoyed all year round, Préaud includes a room made entirely of glass in the rooftop garden. Tucked away behind a row of small birth trees, it offers ultimate privacy and a space enclosed within the beauty of nature.
According to the designer, the glass house offers a cosy, intimate haven which can be used as “a mid-season lounge room”. He imagines the space being used as a summer lodge where one can bask in natural sunlight and enjoy the colours of blooming flowers, or as a fireside retreat during the cooler months, where the autumnal coppery colours of the birch leaves will create a warm shadowy ambience despite chilling temperatures.
For the architect, the design of a garden or a terrace should come before anything else
in the architectural and
“It calls for a lot more than a good knowledge of plants and furniture,” says the designer, who first fell in love with nature and plants in his grandmother’s garden in Dinard, France. “It serves a much wider purpose than just being ‘pretty’.”
Préaud’s love affair with landscaping is contagious and his passion shines through his work.
For the designer, the process of crafting an outdoor space is “a dive into human psychology and a unique chance to experiment with every form of artistic expression – shaping the space, sculpting the land, painting with matter and colours, composing rhythms to accommodate the seasons, and finding a good overall harmony.”
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