Nathan Burkett is amongst Melbourne’s most prominent landscape architects, forging an enviable reputation for intelligent gardens that are entirely sustainable, original and functional. Known for his crisp lines and balanced aesthetic, Nathan began his career completing a degree in Landscape Architecture at RMIT University, winning the RMIT award for Design Excellence in his final year.
Nathan found himself working in commercial landscape architecture and sought to apply these skills to residential garden design and construction. In 2006 Nathan Burkett Design emerged, winning the coveted ‘Garden of the Year’ award in its first year of business.
Fast-forward to today; Nathan has curated a portfolio of gardens for clients across Australia’s most affluent suburbs. Amongst his most notable achievements are two gold medals at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
We spoke to Nathan about his approach to landscape architecture.
Your designs are seen as works of art viewed from inside the home. Is this the intent?
Through the cooler months in Melbourne, much of our time is spent on the inside looking out. Regardless of this, we set out to create gardens that can be enjoyed throughout the whole year. We place as much importance on the way a garden is viewed from the interior as we do the way it is experienced when you are out in the garden.
What are some of the shapes, colours and surfaces attracting you at the moment?
I’m loving anything handmade. There is something about the imperfect charm that comes with the work of an artisan that’s so earthy and beautiful.
What’s your dream project?
A Byron Bay farm property. Byron’s the place I relax. A lot of the tree’s we use in our projects come from Northern NSW so I’m lucky enough to get to visit Byron on a regular basis. Byron has a unique temperate climate and I’d love the challenge of working with a long list of plant life that we can’t grow here in Victoria.
How do you work with the architect and client?
We like to meet with both the Client and Architect to hear the vision and direction that has informed the architecture. Once we have a good understanding of this our Job is to create a concept that sits harmoniously with the site and architecture. Great things can be achieved when Architect, Landscape Architect and Client work together with a common goal.
Where do you gain your inspiration?
Travel helps me stay fresh. Whenever I’m out of my usual surroundings I find inspiration all around me. Sometimes it makes it hard to switch off however this is the life of a designer. You have to live and breathe it.
To find out more about Nathan Burkett, view his website here.