Creating Elegance from In-between Spaces

Fall 2017

Editor's choice of noteworthy HNA 2017 Award entries

by David R. Smith


Creating Elegance from In-between Spaces

The 2017 Hardscape North America Project Awards witnessed a record 146 submissions. The breadth and depth of attention to detail rose to new levels. A large number of entries often equates to tougher choices for the contest judges. Selecting one excellent project winner over another excellent one can mean some worthy projects don’t win. For this reason, there is this Editor’s Choice column.

Hardscape and landscape merge to create a linear backyard space with a mix of singular and group places.

A case in point is a backyard project submitted by Shawn Kelly with Mirror Lake Designs in Spring, Texas. The project is about elegant landscaping that redeems a tiny backyard as much as the hardscaping, and vice versa. Mr. Kelly aptly described the backyard’s narrow geometry as a bowling alley quieted with a landscape/hardscape transformation into a meditation space. Even with a shallow depth yard, the designer created secluded, intimate areas while supporting foot traffic that certainly arrives with backyard gatherings.

The Awards contest is in part one requiring excellent photography that communicates the designer’s intent. Successful photographic representations enhance the reader’s perception, and especially the contest judges’ perceptions. When combined with superb, uncluttered design, such photography makes it easy for the reader to vicariously enter and enjoy the place. This project merges both to land you there.