From Singapore, Colorado, Mumbai, Perth and across the globe, these individually stunning projects feature an element borne out of ancient Eastern philosophy that has been embraced by the modern Western world: water gardens. Synonymous with tranquility and wellbeing, water gardens do more than soothe the soul by making a contribution to interior spaces, that is both wonderfully aesthetic and to a significant extent, textural. Notably, in the depictions to follow, water gardens, more often than not, inhabit what may otherwise have been dead space within a structure, such as those areas that lie beneath floating staircases.

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AZD takes the utilization of potentially dead space one step further by adding a glass floor atop the decorative body of water that lies beneath the stairs, creating a thoroughfare that serves as residence’s main entry access. This space, like many to follow, is thoughtfully styled with living elements that take the form of water reeds and potted palms, which hints at an underlying ethos of tropical modernism that is seen in greater detail throughout this collection.

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Elements of tropical modernism can be found in this submission from Pulltab Design, which was considerably influenced by the work of prolific architects, Geoffrey Bawa, Carlo Scarpa and Richard Neutra. The shallow steel pool in this space can be relished from the mezzanine living area and lower level, while whimsical styling in the form of a model sail boat draws the eye to the pool and the overhanging green wall above. This is subtle tropical modernism in its classical form. It is in essence, comparatively formulaic and academic when one considers the nature of the space to follow, which takes the aesthetic of tropical modernism quite literally, though careful to retain a level of functionality through the incorporation of stone stepping platforms that float in the feature of the composition.

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