Balcony with Lake view

Balcony with Lake view

The Brief and my Design

This project demonstrates that a design for a garden can be created for the smallest of spaces. The area of this balcony measures a mere 5m by 1.8m.

I knew exactly what this particular client wanted. . . because it was me!

I live in a Grade II Listed building, former home of Imperial Tobacco, that sits in 10 acres of green space and is built over a lake.

The views of the landscaped gardens from my apartment are fabulous, but the balcony was a little brutal in design and offered no privacy from the adjoining apartments.

Above shows what I designed in order to solve a few problems.

The biggest problem I faced was that there were restrictions on what could be put across the balcony because of fire regulations. There had to be gap of at least 0.6 m for people to walk through in case of a fire, unless the furniture was movable.

I therefore decided to design two planters that would sit on coasters and therefore be movable if necessary, but they would be constructed so that the coasters were recessed and so wouldn’t be seen. Below is the construction drawing I did for the planters:

The planters stood on end having just been made at the metal fabricators. They then went to the painters to be powder coated to the exact RAL colour I wanted and then I fixed marine grade plywood to the base and bolted the coasters to the underside

I now have two large planters going across the balcony that can be moved if necessary but because the wheels are recessed they cannot be seen.

Planting can quite often produce striking shadows on surfaces

The balcony is quite shady, so planting had to be able to cope with this as well as looking good year round. Evergreen planting was used with bulbs to add splashes of colour.

Lighting will be added so that the balcony can be enjoyed into the evenings. I designed some abseilers who will come down the girders for a glass of wine.

Photos of the abseilers to follow, when I’ve finished them! 

I wanted to separate the space, have an area to sit, soften it with planting but still retain the view. Whatever I put on the balcony, I didn’t want it to dominate or compete with the view.