The Golden Ratio: Part 2

On larger sites, empty space can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, empty space allows for many new opportunities in the landscape, however it can be difficult to utilize large areas effectively, and still achieve cohesiveness, intimacy and budgetary goals. The TLC Team has found that in early stages of design, the fibonacci sequence can be highly effective in managing these unruly empty spaces, ensuring natural connectivity throughout. 

A recent project in Longmont, Colorado, dubbed “Equine Escape” is a perfect example. With several acres of open prairie land surrounding the site, this residential ranch property needed a holistic plan which could encapsulate many diverse and somewhat divergent needs. While our team set out to expand our clients’ living space and increase their privacy, we also were challenged with accommodating three other large residents; horses!  Our design would ultimately need to create clear separation between the living spaces, barns, stables and arenas needed for training horses, while still achieving easy site access, and a sense of cohesion.

Utilizing the golden ratio early in our design process helps our team get ahead of the game, organizing our goals and priorities spatially on the page. We began overlaying trace paper atop our site plans, and using the golden ratio, we pulled lines off of the home, and marked points at distances corresponding to the fibonacci sequence. In the image below, you can see how this technique informed the size and spacing of certain key boundaries. 

In tackling the challenge of site access and divergent flow patterns, our team used the “Fibonacci Spiral” (a geometric form derived from the same number series) to identify optimal pathways and shapes in which human and horse traffic, could coexist! These spiral patterns later became crucial in defining the curving gardens and walkways which snake through the site.  

Ultimately this design process allowed the Equine Escape project to maximize its potential. Our final plan displays large swathes of diversely populated gardens, broadened living space, increased privacy in the form of tree screens,  highly improved flow patterns, and clear boundaries between contrasting spaces. 

The Golden Ratio is a series by the TLC Gardens Design Team. Read the next parts in this series here: Part 1, Part 3, Part 4