Hilgard Garden Design by Mary Barensfeld Architecture

Tiered Garden by Mary Barensfeld in California

Dotted by three Japanese maple trees, this tiered garden was designed by Mary Barensfeld for a residence in California. The steep slope of the site necessitated a tiered structure to create the most useful space, but Hilgard Garden bears a more irregular composition than is often seen in this kind of landscaping.

Angular Sloping Tiers in Concrete at Hilgard Garden

Each tier slopes gently upwards in alternating directions to bridge the gaps in height and make it possible to simply step up to the next level. This makes it easier to ascend to a seating deck present at the peak of the garden with views over the preceding tiers.

Decked Seating Area at the Top of Hilgard Garden

Perforated Steel Panel Fencing in Rusted Finish

To avoid swallowing large swathes of the backyard square footage with a conventional stair, angular, board-form concrete walls with occasional steel armor slice their way up the hill while providing terraced planting areas.Mary Barensfeld Architecture

3D Plan of Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture

Angular Composition of Tiered Segments in Hilgard Garden

The garden is fenced with arrays of perforated steel panels which offer privacy while still allowing the flow of air and light. This rust red Corton steel was cut with powerful water-jets in a seemingly random pattern. Sheet metal also makes an appearance at the centre of the steps with slits in the panels that can be backlit of an evening, as pictured below.

Backlit Steel Panels of an Evening

Close-up of Decking with Narrow Pool

Hilgard Garden by Mary Barensfeld Architecture

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  1. Nicole

    I love the use of wood, concrete, and plants! Was the wood treated before use and how long did it take from start to finish?

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