No one place encapsulates modern landscape design more than Newport Coast, CA, where cleanly designed, functional yards are the aim of every landscape designer and almost every homeowner. Materials play an important role in defining the design style of a landscape, with metal and natural stone veneer being popular choices for modern yards. While glass may not strike everyone as an obvious outdoor building material, it offers great potential to really make designs stand apart, both in terms of aesthetics, as well as functionality.
Strong, Sleek and Beautiful
Glass is generally considered a material best suited for indoor design elements due to its reputation of being a fragile material. However, modern glass can be manufactured to a variety of specifications including high strength, rigidity, and temperature tolerance, which makes it great for outdoor use. The clean, sleek lines coupled with the ability to offer uninhibited views of your surroundings make glass a great material for modern landscape design.
Glass in Outdoor Structures
One place where we see the potential of glass as a construction material is in outdoor structures and patios. Glass walls integrated into gazebos or pergolas can give you all the airiness offered by open structures while still protecting you from coastal winds that can be a nuisance. Glass railings are also a great application of this versatile material, ensuring the safety of occupants in raised areas without inhibiting the view with cumbersome metal railings, giving you an overall sleeker look. The railings can be supported by traditional materials such as wood for a unique look, or simple metal supports for a more conventional design.
An important consideration for each application is the type of glass that is used. Glass comes in a wide variety of finishes with different characteristics suited to different applications. Know-how of the material is an integral part of ensuring your design is executed correctly, especially for structure where laminated glass works best for safety reasons.
Glass as an Aesthetic Enhancement
Glass can also play an important role in a more subtle capacity around the landscape. It works remarkably well in support of primary focal points such as fire pits, fireplaces, pools, and water features. Light from the flames shimmering in glass nuggets dispersed within the fire pit gives your design a pleasant dimension, while glass fire tables are an excellent addition for any modern landscape with their sleek lines.
Similarly, water features with glass sculptures can offer an interesting meld of modern materials in a traditional application, especially with the correct application of lighting. Poolside glass coping and steps are also popular additions that keep your designs looking sleek and open. Choosing the right type of glass given the high or low temperature ranges for these applications is highly important as this will impact the longevity of the design.
Lastly, we consider the use of recycled glass as an aggregate to bring some added color to outdoor designs. Integrating colored glass with gravel is an easy design hack, as is adding it with mulch and soil in flowerbeds. Glass can also be used to add an attractive sparkle to robust materials like concrete. This is primarily done in the creation of outdoor kitchen countertops and working surfaces.