WHAT: Luxury Private Garden
WHO: Daniel Wang
Senior Architectural Designer
Trained in digital design and fabrication, and spatial and animation design at Barlett School of Architecturein London, Daniel Wang is known for his modern aesthetics and master play of curves and shapes. Having beenwith Benoy since 2010, Wang is responsible for designing Shanghai's Minhang station,and luxury retail stores for Joyce and Burberry. He is now working on Parc Centralin Guangzhou - an 85,000-square-metre retail-park hybrid.
Modern lifestyle often makes us rush through everything. How about immersing yourself in nature, getting your hands dirty in the field and harvesting the fruits of your labour? Wang has envisioned an intimate yet ultraluxurious garden at the backyard of your mansion on The Peak that will allow you to slow down and enjoy nature and life.
"The concept of the garden is a journey of exploration of the senses," says Daniel Wang. "The colours, scents and textures of the plants and the flowers, together with the sound of the leaves as the wind blows while the owner enjoys organic produce from the garden, are all part of the experience."
The garden compound includes a walkway connecting your mansion to the garden, a smart membrane structure that offers a protected and controlled environment for the garden, the main garden and an underground level for rare floral selections.
The design is created with eco-friendly and energy-saving concepts in mind.
The connecting pathway is covered with a wooden trellis and flowers equipped with digital sensors that can detect the client's mood and change the colours of the lights to suit his or her mood. "For example, if the owner had just got off a plane after a long-haul flight, the lights will sense his or her [fatigue] and change accordingly to help him or her adjust to local time," Wang says.
The garden is enclosed in a high-strength steel shell structure. In collaboration with Hugh Brennand of Inhabit Group, Wang has designed the steel structure with self-cleaning electrochromic glass produced by Schott. The glass can change opacity and colour and can be incorporated into an audio-visual system. The smart glass changes opacity to ensure the owner's privacy. What's even more impressive is that with incorporated cameras projecting real-time images onto the LED screens of the structure, the structure will blend in with the surroundings to camouflage the garden.
The audio-visual system and the internal environment of the garden can be controlled with the owner's smart tablet through Gira intelligent home technology.
The shell structure, with a hefty HK$375 million price tag, is more than just a cove with a controlled environment. It acts as a rain water collection system for irrigation and for filling the ponds in the garden. Equipped with photovoltaic (PV) panels, the structure also generates green energy for the garden.
The owner does not have to worry during typhoon season. The shell structure will be linked with the Hong Kong Observatory to detect weather conditions. The glass panels are supported by aircraft grade aluminium metal framing for extra durability.
Underneath the shell structure will be the main garden. Wang worked alongside Viraj Chatterjee from One Landscape Design to choose the plants most suitable for the garden. Think Chinese ixora flower beds covering the geo-textile flooring. Wang has envisioned a surrealistic landscape featuring tropical plants with oversized leaves, such as colocasia esculenta and licuala grandis.
"The garden should be about exploring multiple senses," Wang says.
The garden consists of several "pods", such as a "farm-to-fork" kitchen with farms to grow spices, herbs and vegetables. Next to the kitchen will be a multifunction room for the owner to host events.
The garden also includes an outdoor spa with aromatic plants such as coral hibiscus and jasmine. As meditation is an essential function of the garden, a Zen space with water lilies, lotus and papyrus plants will be dedicated to that purpose.
"We imagine the owner to be a busy person. The meditation space allows him or her to enjoy a beautiful view of the city from The Peak," the designer explains. There will also be a secluded cigar lounge, so the owner can share the magnificent view with guests.
Due to the sensitivity of rare orchids the likes of ghost orchids and lady's slippers, Wang is moving the selection underground. He has also planned a wine cellar, a library, an aquarium and a scent library in the lower level. "The whole [garden] becomes a capsule for the owner to go in and rejuvenate himself or herself," Wang says.