“I used to make toy boats from sticks and bits of wood, sometimes even folded paper and race them down the local creek or wander through everyone’s backyards through the inevitable gaps in the fencing, exploring and making new friends. That’s how the neighbourhood gang in our street was formed – we just had a ball, and so long as we were back before the streetlights came on, all was well,” muses Will Marcus, Principle Architect at ARGO, Architects & Landscape Architects, on the humble backyard’s evolution. “Today it’s a very, very different streetscape in suburbia. Neighbours all have tight security, motion detectors on floodlights, guard dogs and fencing everywhere, usually to protect children from drowning in pools. And no one would dream anymore of ‘trespassing’ across the neighbourhood as we did. Sadly, the creeks are all ‘no go’ zones or filled in and modernised using concrete stormwater pipes. These changes in how we live have impacted garden design, especially the backyards of Australia, in a very special way and to my mind, in a very good way.”
Australians are embracing their backyards more than ever before in our short history, and our modern Queensland home demands a backyard that is more like a showpiece of resort quality landscaping and poolscape for recreation and entertainment.
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a start, pools have all suddenly become resort quality. The tile selections from overseas, the use of stone and tiles of very high quality and landscape detailing is at an all-time high. Underwater ledges are a ‘must have’ item because they are just so useful. Most people sit and relax when in their pool – at least for 80% of the time. And the sit out areas around swimming pools have become more sophisticated. “Elevated decks with market umbrellas and special zones for outdoor lounges are really useful because, in fact, most use of any poolscape these days is done sitting around the pool and a shady, comfortable place to drink, eat tapas and entertain,” adds Will. “Just about every project we complete at ARGO now comes complete with these items, and if you add an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven, day bed, fire pit and a hammock, outdoor shower and change room/toilet, there really isn’t much else that you would need to live most of the time in the ‘great outdoors’ … unless, of course, you also have a half court to practice shooting hoops!”
This home showcases all of that, and so much more. It’s typical of the standard of design and quality craftsmanship delivered with each and every ARGO project, bringing together the talents and expertise of some of Queensland’s best suppliers and specialists in landscape and poolscapes. Quality tiles, selected from Italy, were supplied by Tile Solutions; The swimming pool and hardscape was built by Fowke Design and Construction; Landscaping and timber decking was built by Byrne Landscape Design and Construction; Pool heating and a photovoltaic solar collector to offset the power costs in the home was designed and installed by QIS Solarwise; Structural engineering design was by Newport Consulting Engineers; and the architectural design and project management was by ARGO, Architects & Landscape Architects.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Glenn Weiss