The Fountain Courtyard is the centerpiece of a prestigious development within the historic parkland at Balls Park in Hertfordshire, a former university campus. Balls Park Mansion is Grade 1 listed and the associated historic gardens and parkland are registered Grade 2. New apartments were developed looking inwards over the courtyards and outwards over the historic parkland. The client’s brief was to provide a high-quality fountain courtyard that would function as a communal garden with car parking and provide an attractive leafy outlook into the courtyards from the adjacent apartments.
The parking was arranged around the perimeter of the courtyard so views from the apartments are over the cars towards the green island of the fountain gardens in the middle of the wider courtyard space. The small mop-headed trees and railings around the perimeter provide an attractive outlook from the apartments, whilst creating a perceived sense of enclosure from the fountain seating area. The lighting installation has been designed to create an entirely different feel to this space at night whilst extending the hours that it can be enjoyed.
The fountains form the focal point of the main courtyard. They have been detailed in granite with a multi-tiered fountain in the upper bowl and with four bronze lion heads spouting water from the fountain bowl down into the lower pool. There is a lily-pad themed pond cover finished in a verdigris colour, which will in time match the patina of the lion-head water spouts and the copper lanterns which are suspended from the entrance archways. The fountains are surrounded by a paved seating area. There are four granite benches and the lower pool surround also provides seating opportunities. The courtyard has been a great success and is already a Gold Award winner for Best Communal Garden/Landscape and a Gold Award winner for the Best Garden Landscape - Brownfield Development - Daily Express New Home Gardens Awards for our client Explore Living.