April 20, 2021

Staying cool by the pool


TerraVerde took on the task of creating a Maldives feel at a luxury villa at Hattan in Arabian Ranches, Dubai.

The client asked TerraVerde to create a stunning contemporary garden sustainable and durable enough to be used for a multitude of activities at the luxury villa, including parties, relaxation, recreation and al fresco dining.

Privacy surrounding any of the ‘breakout’ areas within the villa’s gardens was crucial to the design, as was utilising every inch of space. TerraVerde orientated the landscaping around an exotic, tranquil theme that is modern with respect to the layout and design but with a natural feel similar to the Maldives.

The surrounding exterior space had to be clearly differentiated from the villa’s interior, not only for an aesthetically beautiful view when looking outside but also to give a sense of escapism when people enter the garden. From the entrance to the rear garden, the villa’s ‘journey’ begins with an electronically activated gate which opens on to a beige, travertine-tiled pathway leading to the main door and a welcoming Greek-style water feature.

The pathway runs throughout the outdoor area and leads from the entrance to the side garden, which is festooned with exotic plants, flowers and ground covers. Soft seating and an Arabic-patterned feature wall in the centre of the garden make for a perfect resting point. As you turn the corner into the main outside area, you encounter another seated section surrounded by green plantation and sculpture.

A thatched gazebo sits at the opposite end, equipped with a bar, outdoor kitchen, pool table, fixed seating, projector screen and ceiling fans. A decked area lies next to this, on the corner of the large swimming pool, with sun loungers and another tranquil water feature to act as a backdrop.

A courtyard is subtly hidden away in the rear of the garden, filled with palm trees, grass verges, stepping-stone tiles, pebbles and shrubs, interlinked with symmetrical pathways. TerraVerde’s landscaping and construction designs all went to plan. However, to provide the villa’s residents with privacy and shading and to give the courtyard section an impressive ‘wow factor’, the company planted six large Washingtonia robusta palm trees.

Installing the trees required great technical precision, as planting six trees so close together meant the allocated space needed to be measured in terms of millimetres, otherwise growth and stability would be unsuccessful. The large swimming pool is the focal point of the project, spreading across the back garden and bringing the thatch and water feature, as well as hard and soft seating areas, together as one distinctive design.

Pools of this size are exceptional for residential projects. Stretching as long as 20m and spanning more than 7m at its widest point, the pool is versatile, with its size and shape allowing people to take a casual dip, play, exercise or grab a refreshment at the bar while perching on the plush seating at the top end of the pool.

As the feature is an overflow pool, it is essentially the same level as the bordering pathway. Water runs over the edge of the pool, creating a stunning mirrored effect and reflecting surrounding structures.

The light blue glass tiling and contiguous white pebble coping gives the pool an inviting, fresh, organic look. The pool is equally impressive when the sun goes down. Sequenced LED lights were inserted around the coping and, together with the calming surface of the water, make for a relaxing, yet stunning, scene.

The pool runs parallel to the villa and, when not in use, acts as a picturesque water feature in itself, resembling an enormous moat around a castle or stately home.

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