The site is located at the top of the South Island, New Zealand in Hope, Tasman, New Zealand. The 16 hectare property is situated on an elevated position overlooking the Waimea Plains and Tasman Sea. The Richmond Ranges form a strong backdrop to the site with a mix of exotic forestry planting and areas of native re-vegetation planting. The overseas clients have a young family and, although not currently living on site, will eventually move back to Tasman to live on the property. The site has been developed as boutique vineyard with a private multi-generational home accommodating the clients’ extended family. The clients wanted a landscape that would enhance the wider existing site features, include a new vineyard, ponds and the potential for future accommodation. It was important that the site features were developed to ensure a cohesive approach to site elements and architecture with the landscape complementing the architecture through a contemporary design approach and materials palette.
Key design elements that were explored included the arrival experience, creation of an outdoor area away from the house where the extended family could gather, spa room, large formal lawn, access around site and planting, the natural and the horticultural landscape and how this could be expanded and strengthened, creation of a pond threshold, visual extension of proposed ponds through to proposed wetland, re-vegetation of the southern hill slope of the central hill, seamless integration of the architectural and landscape with a shared design and materials aesthetic, a sculpted approach to earthworks on the front bank of the house, to extend existing planting of cherry trees with cherry grids throughout site; and consideration of/and allowance for vineyard and grazing of site.
The final resolution in response to these design aspects include:
1. The native forest backdrop is a commitment from the designer and client to develop an intergenerational landscape that will enhance the site, aid in site management and improve biodiversity. The native forest extends from a neighbouring native re-vegetation area to create a bold large scale gesture. With the house’s prominent position on the top of the central hill, it commands wide expansive views out over the immediate landscape. This foreground to the house is restrained with a focus on the wider site views. It contrasts with the native forest backdrop and nestles the house into the site, providing enclosure to this prominent position. Planting of the native forest backdrop included a staged approach to re-vegetation of a large steep site bank area. Plant species were developed from Council endemic plant lists and locally ecosourced.
2. The entry court creates an interesting arrival to the house with a forested backdrop enclosing the space. Additional parking allows a more functional space to this architecturally enclosed space. A soft approach to materials in the use of grass block pavers ensures additional parking areas complement the space. House planters reinforce the native forest aesthetic and include structural Nikau Palms and lush underplanting.
3. The utility spaces have been developed to form a functional purpose but still have a high quality aesthetic. Clotheslines have been designed to integrate into the landscape in simple and sculptural way with black upright steel posts. Concrete pavers and gravels extend through this space ensuring functionality but retaining a softer aesthetic with the use of grey gravel and concrete edging.
4. The tussock hillside planting of the site is an important element in grounding the house to the hillside with the house conceptually emerging from the hillside bank. The tussock planting softens this transition and aids with the management of slopes surrounding the house through bold mass planting of Chinochloa rubra.
5. The entertainment courtyard allows an outdoor entertainment space separated from the house allow the family to gather with a larger space for entertaining groups. The space includes an outdoor lounge, firepit area, dining area, and an outdoor kitchen. The space forms a linear extension of the axis to the house with a long linear shape and angular forms mirroring the architectural design. The space is enclosed by the forest backdrop and timber and steel pergola structure. Materials relate to the house with the use of off form concrete, concrete precast panels, steel, gravel and concrete paving. Mass planted Apodasmia similis is used around the house and entertainment area in a bold structural sweep.
6. The formal lawn is a simple bold form which extends along the front of the house and then angles across the top of the flat ridgeline to form a long expansive formal lawn area. This allows for play and gives a sense of space to the house site with a large sculpture at the end of the lawn as a focal point proposed.
7.The sculpted terraces are a sculptural response to required earthworks to the front house bank. The sculptural terraces create a large-scale artform and also act as a connecting element with the wider landscape whilst the planted terrace approach provides ease of management. Lomandra nyalla was used to provide a clean green aesthetic.
Entrant office name: Canopy
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape Architects
Other design firms involved in the design of the garden (if any): Warren and Mahoney were the lead Architects for the house
Project location (State or Country): Hope, Tasman, New Zealand
Design year: 2013
Year Built: Completed 2016