— Takapuna, Auckland
This project was a collaboration from the beginning in many ways. Central to the design was establishing a fluid relationship between the new architecturally designed house and its surrounding landscape, as well as with the street. The clean vertical lines and impressive proportions of the front façade, are in contrast with a dark volcanic landscape. This defines a graphic language seen in many buildings by the renowned architect Guy Tarrant, with whom we have been lucky enough to collaborate with for many years.
The monumentality of the house and proportions of the front garden lead to the key design decision of removing an existing stone wall at the front of the property, instantly opening both house and garden to the street.
The brief was focused on the front garden, with the clients keen to keep the existing circular driveway to some extent. We really loved this idea so decided not only to preserve this form, but to transform its materiality in such way that it became the main structural element of the front garden.
Warm, grey clay bricks are used to emphasise the curve of the driveway, creating a sense of movement and dynamism. Lawn nestled between the front planting and the house provides an open space for the kids to play, as well as fostering a more open engagement with the community.
In the garden, soft textural greens with touches of white and yellow dance around two established trees, following the rhythmic curves. Volcanic feature rocks relate back to rock used in the house, and are deliberately utilised in the garden as seating and natural retaining, as well as anchor points to unify the architecture with the landscape.
A more casual staircase and path connect the front with the back garden, creating a beautiful transition using timber sleepers and gravel, honouring the coastal location of the house.
The back garden responds to a simple functional diagram in which a long, narrow strip of fresh green lawn occupies most of the space. Productivity is predominant here; espalier citrus trained on a crisp white wall, a vege garden which integrates an existing frangipani, and a fragrant threshold planted with herbs.
Acorus gramineus, Alchemilla mollis, Chionochloa flavicans (Toe toe), Citrus (espalier), Cyathea medullaris (Mamaku), Euphorbia wulfenii, Federation Daisy 'Summer Angel', Fuchsia procumbens (Tōtara), Gaura 'So White', Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight', Ligularia japonicum 'Aureo-maculata', Ligularia reniformis, Lobelia angulata (Panakenake), Parahebe catarractae 'Snowcap', Pittosporum cornifolium (Tāwhirikaro), Pomaderris kumeraho (Kūmarahou), Sophora microphylla (Kōwhai),
Gardens of Evan