BLOG – Interview with Outdoor Establishments
Sydney based landscape company Outdoor Establishments recently collected four awards at the Annual Landscape ACT & NSW Excellence Awards, including The Graham Ross Residential Landscape Construction of the Year Award. We sat down to chat with Sam Westlake, senior landscape architect and partner.
With a background in large open space projects (Sam began his career at Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture), we were curious as to what had drawn Sam to where he is today. “My passion for plants and attention to detail saw me return to the roots of the profession and join Outdoor Establishments in designing beautiful and functional gardens. I love the diversity of the work and the unique challenges each project presents”
The quality Sam refers to has been a trademark of the young companies’ projects, with the recent highlight being the success at the LNA 2016 Landscape Excellence Awards. The team picked up an award for their Bay St Garden, but the Malleray Garden in Mosman is the project that clearly impressed the judges. “The use of clean, straight lines and modern features combined with classic building and landscape materials, such as brick and sandstone, has created a truly timeless garden that I’m always drawn to.”
Being a landscape architect, he is obviously well equipped in providing documentation and detailed CAD drawings, but before turning to his keyboard and monitor, he picks up a pencil. “I always start with a sketch. For me, it is still our greatest design tool and the most effective way to communicate your ideas during the early stages of the project.”
It would be remiss of us not to try and steal a design tip for our readers, and Sam kindly obliges – “I allow the character of the site, the architecture of the house and the client’s desires guide the design of the garden. It’s about being responsive, responsiveness is key. I enjoy the freedom this gives me to explore different plants, materials and styles.”
And what does the future hold for Sam and the team at OE? “We have a number of projects already on the drawing board that we can’t wait to start building next year. Delivering those projects and continuing growing our business will be my focus for next year.” You can see more of the amazing work from the OE team here, Enjoy!
All photos courtesy of Outdoor Establishment Website.
Photography by Natalie Hunfalvay.