Most people understand that landscaping is an important consideration when building, renovating, or designing a home, but it is often though of as something that happens at the end of a build and is limited to laying turf and planting gardens.

At Base, we believe that landscaping is something that should be considered and incorporated into the design of spaces right from the very start of a project in order to reap the full benefits that well designed landscaping can provide.

First of all, it is important to explain what we mean by the term “landscape”.  Landscape encompasses both soft landscape (vegetation and planting) and “built” elements that are external to the building itself.  Hard landscape is often used as a tool to help integrate the soft landscaping with the architectural structure, and might include pathways, level changes, planters, bench seating, gates and fences. Hard landscaping can be refined elements such as stone tiles, brick pavers, concrete walls, or detailed timber screens; or raw elements like boulders found on site, rock walls or pathways.

There are many ways to integrate landscape, and many benefits for each option. The first thing to consider is whether to use existing elements or introduce new landscaping elements.

Designing Around Existing Landscape Elements

Orienting spaces around or towards large, beautiful trees

  • Cost saving and generally easier to create as it incorporates existing landscape

Introducing New Landscape Elements as a Holistic Part of The Design


  • Allow for better cross ventilation and light for internal spaces.
  • Brings landscape and greenery closer to the middle of the site, rather than it being something that exists only at the edges of a site.
  • May be entirely “green” or include hard landscaping to become a space to occupy
  • Allow a greater number of internal spaces to connect to the outside
  • Make spaces “feel” larger, by visually extending the edge of the space
  • Enable vegetables or herbs to be grown closer to the kitchen
  • Generally, aesthetically pleasing

Green walls:

  • Passive cooling and air purification
  • Can be used to disguise unsightly walls
  • Insulating effect for the spaces behind the wall
  • They look great!

Green screens:

  • Passive cooling through shade and evaporative cooling for the spaces behind
  • Provide privacy

Green Roofs:

  • Trafficable green roofs provide extra flat, usable external space, while also reducing heat island effects and providing insulation to the spaces below.
  • Non-trafficable green roofs can be the solution where occupants don’t want to be looking down at a large roof. Aesthetically pleasing, reduces glare, provides insulation


  • Can be used to blur the boundaries between inside and out, by carrying materials through from outside to in.
  • Vegetation can be used to help mitigate the climate surrounding a house by providing shade, protecting from harsh winds. Provide privacy by incorporating planting in appropriate places.
  • Can be used as an extension of living spaces — rooms and spaces no longer end at the external walls, but encompass the surrounding landscaping as well. This makes the spaces feel larger, while also providing a better outlook.
  • To help locate and embed a building on its site and within its environment.
  • To lead people where you would like them to go
    • Entry paths