The Inspiration of Nature in Design

Mdina Gate featured in season one of Game of Thrones as the main gate to Kings LandingSan Anton Palace featured in season one Game of Thrones as the exterior of the Red keep

I’ve recently returned from a holiday in Malta, having immersed myself  in its stunning architecture, thinking about how far reaching the impact of nature is in design. As a self confessed nerd and Game of Thrones fan, I organised my own tour of the land marks in season one, including seeking out Kings Landing in the silent city of Mdina and the Red Keep in San Anton Gardens.

In the finer detail of some these beautiful buildings and in the many churches across the island, are motifs that have taken their inspiration  from nature. An indigenous plant to Malta, Bears Breeches with its dark green lobed edged leaves, has inspired many designers and formed part of the capitals of columns in Greek and Roman art. Modified designs were also used in Christian and Byzantine arts and as motifs in some churches. 

When you walk around these spaces, there is a sense of place and connection that at once feels coherent 

When you are in a well designed space, you may not be able to put your finger on why you feel the way you do. It may be the repeat of the motif; it may be the promise of the destinations as you walk along the covered corridors or the sudden surprise of sheltered court yard

In garden design it is no different. The outside space is not separate to the architecture of the house but integral to it. The garden design needs to reflect that in its use of hard paving as well as in its use of shapes in the space and in the planting. It’s not enough to just consider the sunny and shady sites in your design choices but to think about how those sites add to a whole coherent design that brings everything together so it feels perfect.

The leaves of bears Breeches that has inspired Christian art & used as a motif in churches


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