What If

Phase 2: From Idea to Masterplan

“Visualising to Communicate”

Moving on from last session of developing an idea to a concept this phase will deal with the visualisation of the idea translating it into a functional plan.

It is the time to think about the practical aspect of your concept.

For example: Size of the space, the amount of hard landscaping, any materials used as well as keeping practicalities in mind such as water-flow if there is a water feature or electrical sockets that need to be included for light within the space.

“Boxes and Paperscraps”

Because communication of your design is essential you can always use old cardboard boxes or any other packaging material to quickly “sketch” a model.
This can push your concept further by experimenting with material and elevate your final 2D masterplan.
Remember that it is only a sketch to help you visualise your final design and to enable you to tap back into the flow of thinking further about materials, shapes, sizes, proportion or rhythm of hard landscaping.

“Draw your concept”

Sketch out rough ideas that you have keeping in mind a few things such as access and desire lines which are focussed on movement through the physical space. Even though most people like to take the shortest route from A to B think of the aesthetic you can create by using curvy and windy paths.
Think of placement of any other requirements for the space. Maybe a seating area or different themed parts of one larger space and include vistas that guide the eye though the space.

Play around with shapes and sizes but keep in mind the design principle of proportion.
An oversized path may look good in a large estate garden but could make a small space feel overcrowded.
You can be bold if you want to. In the end it is your personal perspective on that space.

“Details matter”

Once you’ve chosen your final concept plan it is time to sketch out the masterplan by choosing your paper size you are automatically setting a boundary for your scale.
For example for the show garden “What if” that is 12x6m a scale of 1:50 on an A4 sheet of paper was used.
If you have a scale-ruler you can easily adjust the size. Write any measurements for your features on a separate paper to be able to go back to it.

An additional tip would be to draw the boundary of the space to scale and then use tracing paper to draw your final plan on as it is easy to copy once you have finished it.
The plan used to create the planting which will be covered on the 8th of April was generated with CAD a computer-aided software to enable easy adjustments and a quicker workflow.

Having created your masterplan it can be crucial to involve construction drawings and any other detailed drawings like a planting plan, electrical supply chains, sustainable draining systems.
For “What if” the main construction plans were regarding the massive steel sculptures which were created by a static engineer to enable a stable piece of art.

It is also crucial to consider materials for example which stone to use or which kind of wood.
Is there any colour you want to incorporate or a special finish? This is the time and space to write down any specification yet it is always good to keep an open mind and change things as you come more into a planning and sourcing phase which will be part of the implementation of the design into a real space.

Once you have drawn your masterplan you can focus on the planting plan which will be covered on Monday the 8th. Both regarding the show garden on the Instagram-Live and in general in a blog post like this.