The narrow balcony, just wide enough to walk out on to, is the only outside space offered to this city apartment. It is six floors up with spectacular views of the River Thames below and the river bank developments opposite. My client possessed a few oriental sculptures that he wanted incorporated into an appropriate design, which would show them off to their advantage. The contemporary apartment had many glass doors and windows from which to view the balcony and river beyond, and my client was keen that the scheme would give plenty of interest without obscuring the far views in any significant way. Luckily the existing balustrade was made of transparent Perspex, so plenty of light entered the apartment all through the day and the views were maximised.
Because the balcony was high up, it was extremely windy at times, so it was decided to limit the use of natural planting and create the same effect with artificial plants that would stand up to the damaging effects of the wind. Imitation bamboo, ornamental grasses and Japanese Maples, oriental in feel, are carefully placed inside enclosures of random vertical lengths of chunky bamboo canes, set off by polished black and white rounded cobbles. The Buddha heads, granite boulders, Japanese lanterns and a pool of water complete this restful, but dramatic, scheme. The design reflects some of the principles of Japanese garden design, in which the garden is primarily a landscape to be viewed from the house. Every element is chosen and placed with care and restraint.