The idea of balance is deeply ingrained in our DNA. We people could not walk without balance. We’re at peace if a scene is balanced; we’re agitated when what we see appears out of balance. We almost intuitively understand “good balance” if it is done nicely, but can we describe why and how a visually balanced surroundings, setting or landscape moves us?
Based on Marjorie Elliott Bevlin, author of Design Through Discovery, balance is a fundamental characteristic of art, and it is separated into three classes:
Asymmetrical, where the two halves of a scene may express the exact same visual weight but are positioned unevenly. Think about how a scale works or children playing on a seesaw. Balance is made by means of a change in weight on both sides of a central fulcrum.
Symmetrical or bilateral, where both sides of a makeup are equal. Think about the human body and the majority of the clothing we wear. 1 side is essentially a mirror of the opposite side.
Radial, where balance emanates from a central core like the beams of a spokes of a wheel. “It’s perhaps the most dynamic kind of balance, for it connotes explosive action,” Bevlin writes.
Understanding balance permits us to decipher why a designed landscape is powerful or not. Here are a few examples that caught my attention.
Natural Balance Home Builders
A modern entry garden is balanced thanks to the clever use of lines, plants and materials. Notice the way the graphic entry route creates a visual volume equal to the front door. And the color-block planting bed echoes the loudness of the window. This is a thoughtfully designed space that uses geometry to make a playful balance of many parts.
Grounded – Richard Risner RLA, ASLA
There are no symmetrical elements of the modern patio, nevertheless the components feel balanced thanks to the rectilinear layout “blocks” aligned both perpendicularly and horizontally with all the home’s facade. The stepping-stone “rug” and the part of oat grasses balance well with the strong concrete patio and the pool. These textures and elements are all the more exciting due to the asymmetrical arrangement.
Lee Ann Marienthal Gardens
Asymmetrically aligned with the house, a long, narrow walkway is often the most difficult kind of hardscape to operate with. But here the designer takes advantage of this exaggerated space. A lush, densely planted shade bed more than accounts the linear walk. The urn’s presence brings importance to the setting and provides another nonplant element to the scene.
Studio William Hefner
Vintage but not obsolete, this French state–inspired residence relies on symmetrical balance. In the placement of this bubbling fountain in the auto court — adapting perfectly with the front door — to the four freshwater trees that are placed two per side, this really is a picture-perfect example of superior balance. The garage has been attached at the left, of course, but it is visually balanced by the dense hedging to the right.
This elegant entry garden conveys symmetrical balance with curved and straight lines. The walkway, front door, columns and trees are displayed in excellent alignment, which makes this space feel relaxed and secure. The gentle curve in the yard reproduces the eyebrow-shaped gable above the front door; collectively they give a softening influence into the darkened space.
River Valley Orchids
Radial balance is seen here in a totally round cobblestone patio in a quiet shade garden. Think about how ordinary this distance would seem with a conventional flagstone patio or a concrete slab. Using the radial design both energizes and enlivens the garden.
Huettl Landscape Architecture
The slats of the circular arbor span outward such as the frame of an open lover and create a dynamic architectural point of view. Perfectly situated in alignment with all the home in the distance, the structure employs radial lines to add interest to some formal landscape.
Debora carl landscape layout
A Hybrid Strategy
A personal, semiformal courtyard exemplifies symmetrical balance and a hint of radial balance. Aligned with the urn along with the gate, a gravel path moves through the middle of the garden, in balance with herbs on both sides. As the path reaches the small, circular focal point, it splits into two matching crescents; they last around the urn and reconnect to the far side. Including a circular detail to a straight path is a traditional layout tip that turns an otherwise ordinary space into something really special.
Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens
This abundant entry garden feels completely in balance since the makeup draws on elements that are both symmetrical and asymmetrical. The flagstone path creates a strong, straight axis to the home’s front door. There are many plants that mirror each other on either side of it, including two shade trees that flank the path. But thanks to its freely flowing annuals and perennials that have minds of their own, nothing is too great or too matchy-matchy. And that’s the reason why we’re charmed by this scene.
Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
The set of raised planters on each side of the timber corridor is a hybrid combining both symmetrical and asymmetrical aspects. They are certainly made from the exact same stone and feature the same square proportions. But there are various textures, shapes and colours of vegetation in every planter, infusing a touch of asymmetrical balance into the plan.
A Fine Balance Makes Your Space