Ian Barker Gardens were delighted to be working with Powell & Glenn, Melbourne-based architectural practice, on a recent landscape design project in Blairgowrie, after all, the renowned practice is the creator of many iconic buildings and beautiful residences.
‘We appreciated their vision for this home, their use of light and space, and their choice of materials particularly appealed to us. Not only that, the project was a very satisfying collaboration between professions,’ says Ian Barker.
Heading the award-winning team at Powell & Glenn Pty Ltd are principal and director, Ed Glenn, and founder Allan Powell.
In an interview with Australian Design Review a couple of years back, Ed Glenn had this to say about their work:
What I love about architecture is working to strike that balance between stillness and theatre in each design. Resolving this tension is a constant for me.
Usually, it is moments within projects [that resonate], such as the way a sharp shadow cuts across a wall. I think our work on TarraWarra Museum of Art speaks to this. There are views through spaces to other spaces, and evidence on site of an idea that has been maintained and delivered.
Obviously their approach to residential work is equally thoughtful, whether that is an historic ‘reconsideration’ such as Domain House (as featured below), originally designed by Harold Desbrowe Annear.
Annear’s original floorplan is described by Powell & Glenn as being ‘thoroughly, beautifully disorienting’. While the project did rationalise some of the spaces, the formal living areas remain as intended for ‘soirees, trysts and fine art’.
However, a new wing and a swimming pool utilise northern sunlight, while the landscape is now wrapped around a naturalistic and lush garden that befits its Botanic Gardens locale.
‘We appreciate the sensitivity with which Powell & Glen approached the Domain project because a significant amount of our project work is with historic homes,’ says Ian Barker. ‘Creating successful links and transitions between the old and the new is certainly something our landscape design team understands.’
Powell & Glenn focus on the use of handmade materials and building forms that will improve with age. They have a strong focus on connecting the landscape with the buildings, ‘which allows spatial continuity between internal and external areas – both visually and physically.’
This strong connection with the landscape is very evident in all of their project work, and it makes sense to us of course. A residence is not just a building, it’s a home and must function as a home, and the landscape is intrinsic to that.