Extra Living Room for a Tiny Terrace



How to create drama and impact in a small garden courtyard space - and make it a usable area where family and friends can gather to relax or entertain?

The Cypsella Garden tries to answer this brief. Created for the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show in 2011, this garden interacted with its site to become a quiet and tranquil place admist the chaos of a busy show.

Named after the winged seed of the Dandelion, the Cypsella Garden touches the ground lightly, and draws you in to it's comfort and peaceful surrounds.

We tried to demonstrate that a garden like this could be done with lightweight materials, and introduced some new products to highlight the exciting materials being developed by local businesses. This helped to make a garden that is equally at home on a rooftop as in a courtyard.


The main unit of the Cypsella is 5.2m in diameter. The entertainment pod is made from whitewashed marine ply on the inside, and 3D Panels by LUMP clad the outer walls and the rear screens.

The roof structure was made from standard aluminium posts and aluminium cladding, which we cut into a fan shape to replicate the Cypsella - the 'leaves' of the fan-roof can be swept 360º to create shade throughout the day.

Cushions were custom made in outdoor fabrics, and we went for maximum thickness to ensure maximum comfort.

In the centre of the entertainment unit, an EcoSmart fire takes centre stage, recessed into a round coffee table. The fire can easilt be lifted out, making and ice bucket for long hot summer parties.

To get to the main area, one crosses a reflection pond on an elevated path of grey limestone - turn left to use the bbq area, or right to enter the sunken Cypsella pod.

A Bluestone footbridge takes you over the reflection pool and into the sunken conversation pit - a bbq stays handy, and the curved rear walls hide a small shed and give the space more depth.

The seating area 'hovers' above a shallow reflection pool, giving it some drama from inside the house, and creating a cooling, tranquil environment.

Coverage of Cypsella on Better Homes and Gardens.

The curved lines of the seating area encompass the space and promote conversation and interaction for all who use it - but the seats are still wide enough to lie down on with a good book.