From their London base, the Stefano Marinaz Landscape Architecture studio work alongside international architects and designers on projects ranging from small private gardens to larger landscapes, and historical restorations to installations for garden festivals. We caught up with Stefano to find out more about how he established the practice and what a day in the life typically involves…
When did you establish the practice and what is your background?
I worked for 5 years for a landscape architecture practice in London. Then I opened my practice just over 5 years ago. Overall I have 10 years of experience in this field together with a BA in Agronomy (in Italy) (crops for food production, planting etc), another BA in Landscape Architecture (Italy – Florence) as well as an MA in Landscape architecture obtained from the University of Greenwich in London.
What does a typical day involve?
Meeting up with clients discussing their ideas while on site visits, meeting up with suppliers to visit showrooms and workshops to follow the progress of production, nursery visits to tag specific plants for clients, team meetings with colleagues at the office as well as with the maintenance team, sketching ideas on my notebook which I have always with me. If I have the time I love to take photographs of our gardens myself as it is a way of learning more of my own work and refining it.
How does the process of landscape design work from a client’s point of view?
Generally clients will call us for a site visit to discuss their ideas. We bring along our portfolio of projects so we can look at what type of projects they like and which design elements apply to their garden/outdoor space. After having understood our scope of work we prepare a design fee to cover our time designing the garden for them and within that design fee we always include up to 3 design options.
Once the design is agreed we then prepare detailed drawings and planting plans so the project can be quantified and costed accordingly. Then, once the budget is approved and the client has signed off the break down figures we start sourcing all materials and planting for the project as well as liaising with all contractors involved in the project.
When the project goes on site we oversee the construction and we refer back to the client regarding progress. Once the project is completed we then offer a garden maintenance service in order to make sure the garden is established properly and maintained perfectly.
What are your top tips for anyone thinking of re-designing their garden?
Generally speaking, if you’re thinking of re-designing the entire property and this will include the garden we would always advise meeting up with a landscape architect in order to discuss the requirements, to understand budget and to get an initial idea about timings.
The few things we generally would like to know ahead of the project are: overall ideas and maybe some reference images of their expectations, how they see the use of their garden and budget available. This information is really important in guiding us towards the right design for the right budget available. On the other hand when design ideas and budget are not available from clients then can we inform them about different options. The design process might take slightly longer with few extra meetings compared to when some ideas of design and budget are provided by the client.
And finally, what’s your dream project?
We work in central London as well as in the English countryside and we are always very keen on working on historical properties particularly if they are located in the countryside.
To read and see more about Stefano’s work click here.