A dramatic clifftop site is carefully calibrated into a series of episodic encounters at Vaucluse Garden - of foregrounds and backgrounds, and worlds within worlds. Seeking first to establish the geologic circumstances of the escarpment, Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture with Bates Landscape has used the garden as a contextualizing “habitat,” mediating between the extraordinary site and the architecture of the house.
The garden consists of sense-rich native and edible flora, set against the raw strata of exposed bedrock. This new topography ingeniously creates a series of subtle, protected and verdant microecologies, which resolve the edges of the built elements on the site. To the seaward side, the gardens are sunken and sheltered below the cliff edge, whilst also serving to foreground the horizon’s expanse.
Delicate and detailed, Vaucluse Garden’s small series of landscape interventions acts to experientially ground the domestic life of the house. Delightfully measured and scaled, these gardens are conceived holistically, as a shared habitat for communities of human and non-human life.
The garden sits on an exposed cliff top, linking the house to the wild drama of the view. Intimacy and materiality are favoured over grand gestures, resulting in a delicate balance, and creating a space for both humans and wildlife underscored by a slightly wild, rugged landscape.