How COVID-19 will change the design of landscaping

Our world is changing in unexpected ways as we battle the global pandemic and begin to imagine life beyond. One of these changes concerns our revaluation of nature: staying indoors for weeks has increased our appreciation and desire for outdoor spaces that are both safe and invigorating.

Matt Coggan, director of Turf Design Studio and head of landscape architecture at Babylon of the Denvell Group, sees a resurgence of interest in his company’s services.

“I think COVID-19 has dramatically increased activity in our industry,” he says. “And some new trends are emerging that will change the way we think about outdoor spaces in multi-residential developments.”

A key trend that Coggan believes buyers will be looking for in the future is the convenience of the doorstep.

“The value of having an open space right next to your door has been particularly evident during lockdown restrictions,” he explains. “When people were discouraged from traveling beyond their region, it really highlighted areas that lacked quality open space.”

At Babylon, Turf Design Studio’s vision was to provide lush oases inspired by history and the natural world, much like its inspiration, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Our world is changing in unexpected ways as we battle the global pandemic and begin to imagine life beyond. One of these changes concerns our revaluation of nature: staying indoors for weeks has increased our appreciation and desire for outdoor spaces that are both safe and invigorating.

All of the features we currently see in a traditional suburban backyard or public park are now considered essentials in today’s multi-residential developments. Private gardens, working from home, parent retreats, playable landscapes (including water features), outdoor kitchens, vegetable gardens, and provision for pet exercise are the new normal. in landscape architecture.

“All of the large-scale residential and mixed-use projects I am currently working on explore these issues and strive to resolve them in a way that meets today’s needs while remaining adaptable enough for unexpected future changes. .

“We designed Babylon to provide individuals and families with a ‘fulfilling life experience’, the kind of lifestyle you would expect from a traditional home in a well-established suburb,” explains Coggan. “The lush tropical landscape will have cascading foliage from the walls and facades, much like its namesake, with flowing water, stone textures, and artwork.”

For residents, a series of leafy private courtyards along the northern boundaries present unparalleled outdoor amenities and passive recreation opportunities as the backbone of their indoor living spaces. Designed as quiet private sanctuaries, they will feature hard and soft landscaping elements, with particular attention to incorporating fixed furniture and seating into the walls of the planters, and places to add loose furniture to suit the fashion of the house. life of residents.

“The courtyard gardens will not only be green landscaped spaces to be seen from inside residents’ homes, but also spaces for them to garden and relax,” Coggan explains.

“Large developers have always understood the immense value of the public domain and the landscape and strive to create it in areas that have limited access to open spaces, either on site or as the Council’s contribution to land. public. It’s a win / win, it increases the value of development properties and improves amenities for the community.

Another key emerging consideration for multi-residential design is the creation of innovative spaces for pets, especially dogs.

“Landscape architects now need to make sure that we don’t forget these important family members in the design process. I see that areas with circuits and open lawns for exercise are becoming more and more popular, ”he explains.

“Communal landscapes are the new ‘backyard’ for multi-residential developments,” explains Coggan. “They have to provide connection and flexibility with a microclimate that optimizes their success, including solar access, wind, weather protection, etc.

“Because if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s to prepare for the unexpected,” he says.

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