The site is set in the Waitemata harbor, off the Eastern coast of Aotearoa on the outer island of Waiheke. The island has a dry Mediterranean-like climate, with rocky cliffs inhabited by nesting penguins that sometimes occupy the basements of the houses. The old home was renovated rather than replaced and this philosophy of renewal carries into the landscape. The land itself rests on the ridge between two cliffs, two bays, and on the edge of a rocky point falling away steeply in three directions. The exposed nature of the site is softened by the ability to move through the different aspects to different views and locations depending on the prevailing weather.
Stone from the local quarry is used to form the walls that are a collaboration between craftsman, designer, and the land itself. As well as local stone, local recycled railway sleepers also meld with the land creating curving paths that lead you into the various views and aspects. Fences are avoided wherever possible allowing the landscape to blend into the extensive land and seascape.
The planting is a weaving of the local coast and a cultural landscape of exotic planting that captures the colors of the sky and the sea beneath. The client held special plants that from family and friends with existing Olive trees onsite that were carefully worked around and transplanted as needed.
Stachys byzantina, Verbena bonariensis, Cynara scolymus, Salvia leucantha, Carex virgata, Santolina chamaecyparissus, Rosmarinus officinalis, Brachyglottis greyi, Thymus serpyllum 'Coccineus', Phormium tenax, Pimelea prostrata, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Muehlenbeckia axillaris, Anemanthele lessoniana, Senecio 'Angel wings', Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', Astelia banksii, Olea Europaea, Ficus carica 'Brunoro black',