Situated on a sloping backyard of a townhouse within a dense urban locale of Berkeley, California, the Hilgard garden is a cascading 5 step private oasis of lush greenery and intriguing textures evidently drawing inspiration from Japanese sculpture parks.
Mary Barensfeld Architecture took advantage of the steep slope of site to create an engaging outdoor space that mixes materials ranging from concrete retaining walls, to wood decks, steel panels and a granite patio.
The garden offers an outdoor living and lounging area, with a seat at the highest point of the slope to allow users enjoy the view of not just the garden below, but also the San Franciso Skyline. A reflecting pool brings in some soothing calm in the midst of sharp lines and audacious geometry.
At night, integrated lighting shines through ‘high-tech-looking’ slashes in the steel panels which dance from the top to the bottom of the garden’s levels and finally meet with their reflection off the surface of the pool at the base of the garden.
The garden is visible and accessible to the living room of host townhouse, with the granite patio and reflecting pool sitting on the same level with the adjoining space in the house. Bronze coloured weathered steel panels offer a fence of sorts and create a boundary between the Hilgard and its neighbouring backyards (Which probably bow in awe)