Working on this project was a real challenge for our team. The Manor is located in the mountainous and remote from civilization part of Altai Region. This caused two main problems. The first problem is associated with severe climatic conditions represented by high wind loads and large temperature difference. The second problem is the lack of building materials and tree nurseries in the region.
To manage the first problem we calculated the wind loads and snow loads. This calculation formed the basis of our idea. We created an artificial landform represented by a hill system, which cut the wind flows and divided the site into functional zones: main lawn, sports and games area, agricultural zone, orchard and forest zones. The entire system of hills is riddled with a road and pathways network.
Vegetation as well played an important role in the landscape. The perimeter of the site is quite densely planted with compositions of coniferous and deciduous large-sized trees, which from the one hand allow to “break” wind flows and from the other hand hide the site from prying eyes. We have planted pines, firs and birches. The entire range was selected considering the climate zone in the local tree nurseries in Gorno-Altaisk and Novosibirsk.
Altai firstly impressed us with mountains, stones, amazing landscapes and vast expanses. We felt a kind the unity of the soul and nature. We to express all these feelings in a landscape project, which at the same time meets all the dreams of the customer about a functional and thoughtful area for recreation.
Here, each element attracts attention and acquires special expressiveness. From different angles of view, new perspectives and every plant, every stone, take up a thoughtful and precisely found place. So, upon entering the territory, your gaze stops at an artificially created hill, which creates a kind of obstruction to the eye and repeats the relief forms of Altai land. An entrance road is cut through it, like a small gorge in the mountains. From this point you can explore the whole garden. Moving forward to the right, behind the alley plantings of the Manchurian walnut, you can see the garden with diagonal plantings of berry bushes, and the fruit garden is also subordinate to this direction of movement. Such diagonals seem to define the main movement of the paths and give the foot of the hills a natural line of life.
On the left, before the next bend of the main road, another hill rises, on which clover has grown in a lush, dense carpet. A scattering of stones, decorative planting of coniferous and flowering shrubs on it contribute to the motifs of the natural landscape. Behind this elevation of the relief is a sports field. On the right, behind the hill on which wildflowers are planted, as if by chance, a regular part of the garden opens. The happy end of the driveway is a view of the Christmas tree in composition with junipers and mountain pines.
From the terrace of the house, a perspective opens onto the classic ground garden with pergolas and sheared willow hedges against the backdrop of the Altai Mountains. The center of the ground zone is decorated with Manchurian walnut (Juglans mandshurica). On the left hand of the terrace are unprocessed blocks of stones, similar to the famous stone steles in the area of the village of Inya. To mitigate them, Purple willow ‘Nana’ (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’) was planted. Willow branches swaying in the wind create the illusion of perpetual motion in the landscape. Thanks to this effect, the garden turns into a place for contemplation and complete relaxation.
Walk in the shade of a pergola, walk on a lawn, climb a hill… From every point the garden reveals itself in different ways. The artificial relief allowed us to create some chamber zones, where each has its own function. In summer, the garden is perceived as a palette of muted green and blue shades with silver accents rhythmically scattered against a calm background. In autumn, the landscape transforms and takes on new, burning colors. Plants were selected to best match the rich flora of the Altai Region.
To emphasize the proximity of the garden with its natural environment in paving paths, cladding retaining walls, natural materials were used. Roughly processed granite paving stones were laid in such a way as to create a certain graphic perspective.
Finally we designed a contemporary garden which combines elements of a classical estate and a natural landscape style that replicate the landscape features of the region.
Name of the project: Altai Manor
Project category (Public Project, Infrastructure, Residential housing park, Private garden, Hospitality): Private garden
Role of the entrant in the project: Sayanov Alexey, chief landscape architect
Other designers involved in the design of landscape (if any): Kamanina Tatyana, landscape architect
Project location: Russia, Altai region
Design year: 2016
Year Built: 2016–2018