Creating a coastal hideaway
Ross Uebergang reflects on creating the Newtown garden.
This garden was created for a family living on the side of the Barwon River in Geelong, Australia. It was made from almost exclusively reclaimed materials. Much of the timber was salvaged from a local pier, which was perfect for creating functional spaces in the garden of a family that loved surf life-saving, triathlons and Iron Man competitions.
I remilled some of the pier timbers on-site with some of my friends and used it to make a large circular seating around a fire pit, a feature wall and a window overlooking the river below.
We used concrete and timber mills from decommissioned railway lines as structural components to give it a slightly industrial feel.
The timber screens can be enjoyed from inside and help connect the family to the garden. If you look the other direction you have a view down to the river which is framed by the garden.
The fire pit area is a great chance for the family to get together and with company to enjoy the view out over the river. Here you can have a BBQ and a beer and celebrate the Australian indoor/outdoor lifestyle
I created a steel sculpture that acted as a support for a climbing Trachelospermum jasminoides cutting out the shape from mild steel sheets to try achieve the curves I wanted. We gave a matt black finish and sat it under the stairs.
We then set about softening the areas using plants that could cope with the high winds that ripped up the slope which is about 20 metres higher than the road. The plants had to be able to cope with our increasingly hotter summers with multiple days of over 40 degrees Celsius and be right at home in the rocky poor soil of the steep slope.