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Top otago retreat

Kennedy's Bush -
Hearthside Haven

Tucked into the lower slopes of Kennedys Bush in Christchurch, this site emulates the sense of leaving the structured urban landscape and entering a natural habitat.   

Our clients, a busy professional couple with older children, wanted to craft an additional outdoor living zone centered on the element of fire. A space to connect with family and guests, nestled into a natural landscape. It provides a strong focal point from adjacent internal and external living zones.

Our concept was heavily influenced by the existing mid-century modern architecture, which dominates both the structure of the dwelling and interior design considerations.  We took cues from materials found and used in the existing landscape and the desire to incorporate locally quarried stone.

Easily accessible from all existing areas including the pool, dining patio and access into the home. The fire zone is a strong focal point when viewed from internal and external living space, so the design required both sculptural and practical aesthetics.

When considering flora and fauna, we focused on habitats already thriving within the garden including mixed tussocks (Chionochloa flavicans, Carex testacea) and native shrubs (eg Leptospermum, Psuedonpanax, Muhlenbeckia) which support local wildlife (e.g. Fantails, Skinks). Planting design was centered on expanding and enhancing the health of existing plant species on site.

Our approach centered on the need to preserve the existing spirit of place. From the relocation of existing plant species, to employing existing elements like the sloping landscape walls to emphasize the design, all played an important part in creating a space that looks like it's always been there.  

Our clients have found a new love for this otherwise redundant space, gathering as a family and cooking food to share. They have vocalized this new enjoyment of the space, which for us, is the ultimate measure of success! 



Family fire zone immersed in nature.


Kennedy's Bush, Christchurch


Aug 2022


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