Architecturally inspired urban garden design ideas can enhance your property and reduce environmental impact
By Paul Benton
In previous columns, we have discussed the climate control benefits one can attain through the simple use of smart landscaping principles. Now that spring is upon us, it seems like a good time to revisit the notion of urban garden design and landscaping strategies to enhance existing properties and improve the overall efficiency and beauty of new architectural projects here in San Diego. Gardens and greenery have the power to beautify nearly any structure: but they can also impart myriad advantages ranging from lighting and temperature improvements to an overall increase in property value and market desirability. When architects, landscapers and gardeners work hand in hand to create spaces that focus equally on exterior and interior design elements, the result is a holistic approach to urban architecture that unites nature with our built environment.
In our wonderful southern California environment, we can go for months with bright sun and very little water. Subsequently, the moist earth and gentle shade that results from planting even a single tree can be a welcome relief, as the surrounding area is cooled and the bright light is diminished.
Landscaping is often used to improve the appearance of a particular building, or to create visual and environmental harmony between the structure and its natural surroundings. But as concern over carbon emissions, energy use and global warming become ever more prevalent in our collective consciousness, the necessity for ecologically harmonious architecture – as well as practical utilization of available land for growing food and moderating interior temperatures – has taken center stage in many urban environments. According to a recent report in the San Diego Union Tribune, the presence of an organic garden in one’s backyard may be the latest trend in real estate desirability and market distinction. Meanwhile, cities across the nation from Seattle to New York are investigating and implementing urban gardening initiatives to increase local food production and integrate elements of the natural world into bustling industrial environments.
Of course, including a garden or even a few extra trees for added shade and subsequent energy savings can be challenging in some locations; and for those with the option of planning ahead, the early incorporation of landscaping and garden framework is the most efficient way to ensure agricultural options and flexibility into the future. At Alcorn & Benton Architects, we are committed to sustainable building practices and take pride in our ability to innovate in the face of environmental challenges. Whether you are determined to have a garden in your urban home or cliff-side coastal residence, our La Jolla architecture firm can guarantee the utmost in creative and ecologically sound solutions built to last. To learn more, visit us
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