66 Rivonia Rd

Taeuber and Corssen Properties recently celebrated the first anniversary of its newest retail development, 66 Rivonia road, Sandton. Landscape SA attended the event and discovered a small yet notable courtyard, designed and installed by Ilnika Landscaping.

The design team comprising Jon Jackson and André Pienaar of Ilnika Landscaping and Justin Gordon of Creative Thinking Design Lab, were tasked with creating a striking modern space with an "African Zen feeling", according to Jackson. Although the client is South African, Jackson says he is well traveled and wanted to incorporate his universal experience of the East with his love for Africa. "Zen gardens lead to the creation of a tranquil and uplifting environment," says Jackson, adding that his own interpretation of the site brought out an uncluttered, minimalist approach with structured landscape elements.

Although the area is small, it conveys a sense of understated elegance. Jackson says he also wanted to try and create a feeling of space in the small area and therefore used very few plant varieties. A central Rhus Pendulina was retained as the focal point of the design. "The Rhus was critical as it rounds of the courtyard feel, making it seem almost Mediterranean - a type of substitute for an Olive tree one would find in an European courtyard " he says. He believes that any large tree on a site should be retained as it creates a more established feel to the space.

"There is a different feeling on each side of the tree and a sense of transition from the car park into the courtyard," He states. Two Japanese Maples also existed on the site and were moved and replanted.

Colour, contrast and texture were further design elements and space was required to be open "to view the mystery of the inner garden", according to Jackson, who made use of foliage colour rather than high maintenance flowering shrubs. The varied leaf textures and foliage colour, together with smooth pebbles and rough gravel, creates a "visually exciting picture".

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