Cutting-Edge Landscape Designers to Check Out

Sculptural gardens and contemporary creations show what’s next in outdoor spaces.

By:

Some outdoor spaces are too innovative, creative and beautiful to simply be called a yard. Breathtaking gardens, entryways, courtyards and poolside retreats are visionary works by the winners of the .

Behind the scenes, designers are using engineering, architecture and construction feats to create beauty in urban settings, rural farms and oceanfront homes. So pause, reflect and find inspiration for your corner of the world.

Oceanfront Home in Chile with Green Roof

Oceanfront Home in Chile with Green Roof

Aloe africana strikes an attractive pose in the planters of an oceanfront home's green roof—one of two—in Chile. Landscape designer C. Stuart Moore elevated the already stunning surroundings with brighter plantings, such as mounds of Sesleria, blue fescue, sedums and echeverias.

Photo by: ASLA/C. Stuart Moore Design

ASLA/C. Stuart Moore Design

Oceanfront settings are gorgeous in themselves, but landscape designer elevated the already stunning surroundings of a new home near Santo Domingo, Chile.

For the green roof — one of two —  selected brighter plantings, such as mounds of Sesleria, blue fescue, sedums and echeverias. Aloe Africana strikes an attractive pose in the planters.

Contemporary Courtyard with Driftwood, Boulder and Stone

Contemporary Courtyard with Driftwood, Boulder and Stone

A 2-ton granite boulder, old driftwood tree and mosaic of beach stone are signature details in the entry courtyard of a contemporary Mediterranean residence. Landscape designer C. Stuart Moore also selected ferns, sedges and moss for the award-winning space.

Photo by: ASLA/CSM Design

ASLA/CSM Design

When a two-ton granite boulder was discovered on the site, it became a centerpiece of the entry garden with a circular cutout in the roof. Another relic — an old driftwood tree — and a mosaic of beach stone on the walls contribute to the organic nature in the contemporary Mediterranean residence. Ancient plant types, such as ferns, sedges and moss, add a textural carpet.

Contemporary Suburban Courtyard

Contemporary Suburban Courtyard

Contemporary art inspired the design for a private garden in suburban Detroit, Mich. For the modernist space, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture created an outdoor gallery softened by plantings and dappled shade peeking through honey locust trees.

Photo by: ASLA/Marion Brenner/Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

ASLA/Marion Brenner/Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

Contemporary art inspired the design for a private garden in suburban Detroit, Mich. For the modernist space, created an outdoor gallery softened by plantings and dappled shade peeking through honey locust trees.

The San Francisco-based firm went a step further by creating sculptural elements that “evoke the powerful, emotional qualities of an art gallery in the garden — moving beyond the simple sculpture garden to a space with deeper, more lasting resonance.” The pathways are choreographed to lead people through the sculpture garden and courtyard.

Multi-layered Urban Outdoor Space with Steel, Glass and Plantings

Multi-layered Urban Outdoor Space with Steel, Glass and Plantings

Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture used corten, stone and plantings for this stunning multi-layered outdoor space and garden in San Francisco. Cochran created an entry stairway with corten steel walls, planes of glass and soft plantings.

Photo by: ASLA/Marion Brenner/Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

ASLA/Marion Brenner/Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

In San Francisco, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture used corten, stone and plantings for this stunning multi-layered garden. The views didn’t need to be created, with the 9,600-square-foot home already perched on a steep ravine over the Bay Bridge. Cochran created an entry stairway with corten steel walls, planes of glass and soft plantings. As an ASLA judge described it this way:

Rural Contemporary Entry Path and Landscape

Rural Contemporary Entry Path and Landscape

Instead of ripping out native oaks in a California property with rural contemporary design, landscape architect Dave Roche preserved them within the gravel entry path and steps to the home.

Photo by: ASLA/Marion Brenner/Roche + Roche Landscape Architecture

ASLA/Marion Brenner/Roche + Roche Landscape Architecture

award-winning work in Sonoma, Calif., puts rural contemporary on display. Natural materials are balanced with clean geometry throughout the 17 acres with little level space. Instead of ripping out native oaks, within the gravel entry path and steps to the home.

Sculptural elements include a custom concrete fountain made of three pillars designed to mirror the height differences in the homeowner’s adult children. Think of that the next time you’re marking your children’s growth on a homemade chart on a door frame.

Poolside Contemporary New England Property

Poolside Contemporary New England Property

One updated section of a 200-acre farm in New England features an infinity pool and lawn terraces by meant for modern living, just outside the contemporary home. Maryann Thompson Architect kept the mature beech, elm and sycamore trees.

Photo by: ASLA/Alan Ward of FALSA/Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture

ASLA/Alan Ward of FALSA/Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture

Plans by  for a rescued New England farm with panoramic views veered toward the unexpected with its contemporary design. For example, one updated section of the 200-acre property features an infinity pool and lawn terraces meant for modern living, just outside the contemporary style, glass-filled home. The firm kept the mature beech, elm and sycamore trees and planted native red oak and tulip trees.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Illuminate Your Yard With Landscape Lighting

Create a stunning landscape that can be enjoyed during the day and night with inventive outdoor lighting solutions.

12 Designers and DIYers You Need to Follow on Snapchat

Design and DIY ideas on Snapchat? Yep, these accounts exist. Check out our favorites.

Basement Systems Check

Find out if your heating and cooling systems, plumbing, wiring and utilities are up to date and ready to serve your new basement space.

Designer Kitchen Gadgets You Won't Be Embarrassed to Leave on Your Counter

Have a love-hate relationship with your kitchen gadgets? Here are some you can love for life.

Flipping Expert Cherie Barber + the Art of the 'Five Day Flip'

Home renovation expert Cherie Barber says she can take an old, ugly or distressed home, turn it into something beautiful and get it back on the market in just five days. And then she does.

On TV

Good Bones

6:30am | 5:30c

Container Homes

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Found a living space you love in Prefit's ? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Prefit in your favorite social media feeds.