Tony Milne ponders New Zealander's preoccupation with maintaining green, manicured grass and suggests the possibility of a new approach to the kiwi lawn.
Derek, cajoled by Joy, has one, so does Trevor. Chris, Nigel and the glimpses I get of Cory’s confirms he too has one. Much to the chagrin of my family we don’t. I deflect blame to our carnivorous family pet Lulu, or more precisely her nitrogen loaded urine. We have suggested she adopts a plant-based diet but we’ll probably have better luck encouraging her to drink more water.
In recognition of Peter Rough's enormous contribution to the New Zealand profession of Landscape Architecture, the new Peter Rough Award of Excellence is to be initiated, of which r+m is a proud sponsor! This is an annual award given to the student at Lincoln University who achieved the highest overall mark in LASC409–Major Design.
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa's exciting new development dubbed 'Summer 19' is underway. Check out some more pictures on our project page of what it will look like.
The r+m team is delighted to welcome Natasha Milne to our studio in Auckland. Natasha has 3 years of experience working in the Auckland region as a Landscape Architect and has just come back from an intrepid 5-month adventure in Russia, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Following the Canterbury Earthquakes, r+m worked with Heritage New Zealand, The Building Intelligence Group, Ruamoko Solutions, Hawkins, and Greenlinc Nursery & Landscapes on the restoration of the Lyttelton Timeball landscape.
After revitalizing the landscape surrounding the Timeball station in 2010, not long before the destruction caused by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, r+m was keen to see the terrain look beautiful again.
On November 2nd, 2018, the Lyttelton Timeball Station reopened with a celebration attended by all those involved in the restoration project, as well as local iwi, families who had previously lived at the Timeball, and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
Landscape Architect Tony Milne celebrates the arrival of spring
As ‘The Guru’ and I were running around Hagley Park recently, we couldn’t help but notice the daffodils in bloom. We weren’t setting a cracking pace – we never do – so we had plenty of time to admire the growth; it felt as though the blooms were colourfully smiling at us. Alongside the daffodils, snowdrops were poking their little white heads above the long green grass. It seemed as though we were all enjoying the warm, sunny winter’s day.
Read the full article by Tony Milne
The team at r+m has trialled a 9 day fortnight since the end of July. The office is closed every second Friday and everybody has the pleasure of a three-day weekend. So far it has proved successful, and hopefully, in the near future, it will become permanent.
Landscape Architect Tony Milne muses on our predilection for greening in our interior spaces
Historically we have associated surrounding ourselves with palms and other botanical specimens from exotic destinations in our indoor spaces with luxury, rest, and relaxation. Be it Victorian glasshouses in our public parks, or domestic conservatories, and sunrooms. I am sure the pointed leaves of a mother-in-law’s tongue will resonate for many.
From Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th August, the r+m team headed to Melbourne for a study tour. It was the first time the team had travelled abroad together and it proved to be very successful.
Everyone needed brunch upon arrival, and a bike tour around the gardens and out to St Kilda followed. A tour of the WE-EF lighting factory filled the latter part of the day, followed by a meal-out kindly provided by WE-EF.
Friday morning was filled with a bus trip to the truly amazing Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens. These are worth a visit if you're ever in Melbourne! Two architects from DKO Architects lead a walking tour of the Docklands area after having lunch at South Wharf. Friday ended with a team meal-out at Hochi Mama in Chinatown.
Saturday was reserved for leisure and doing anything you liked, including shopping, art galleries, eating, AFL, and soaking up the atmosphere of Melbourne. The team met at Bomba (another amazing Melbourne restaurant) for dinner that night.
An early pickup on Sunday morning saw everyone checking in to fly back to Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown at 9 am. All refreshed and ready for work on Monday.
Landscape Architect Tony Milne ponders over the value of the veggie garden
This article comes with a disclaimer. As a family, the majority of our vegetables are delivered in a brown cardboard box every Sunday by Green Dinner Table, and on the odd occasion, we forage for fruit in the residential red zone. Our own vegetable garden is bereft of diversity and bounty, with no evidence whatsoever of companion planting, crop rotation, or double digging.
r+m is delighted to welcome back Ben Taylor as part of their team. After graduating from Lincoln University in 2007, Ben started with r+m in Christchurch. Ben is now leading the charge in r+m's new Auckland Studio, located in High Street, after a few years overseas, and spending the last five years working in Auckland.
Landscape Architect Tony Milne muses on the makings of successful inner-city living in Christchurch.
Historically, we have taken to nesting in suburbia. This tendency is understandable given Christchurch is flat, which supports the proliferation of spread. However, with the majority of our urban population in ‘depopulated car-centric suburbs’, these have become monocultural landscapes with very little soul.
One of the post-earthquake initiatives has been a drive towards a concentration of residential housing in the heart of the city. However, this notion is proving difficult to realise – largely due to the cost of development, but also in part because of the psychology of the typical Christchurch resident, who is used to the idea of more space.
The new Prestons New World supermarket opened in early February, providing convenient grocery shopping in the northeastern corner of Christchurch for the expanding Prestons and Waitikiri community. The $17 million supermarket is the anchor retailer for a new commercial hub at the Prestons and Marshland Road corner that will include retail space, a café, and a bar/restaurant upon completion.
r+m was involved in initial master planning which involved testing a range of broad-scale commercial hub design layouts. The final design layout makes the surrounding stormwater wetland at the northern and eastern boundaries of the site a prominent feature. r+m then prepared designs for commercial hub landscaping and subsequently prepared the detailed design documentation for Resource Consent.
Key landscape design features include:
A footbridge connection to Marshlands Road, providing a strong pedestrian arrival experience
Split faced greywacke stone walls as gateway elements complementing the architecture
Extensive hardwood decking and custom balustrading cantilevering over the wetland
An outdoor space overlooking the wetland basin, which includes feature paving and concrete terracing
A circular hardwood fin screen and planter providing shelter from the Norwest for the café alfresco dining area
r+m has been involved in this project for several years and is proud to see the completion of the landscape design. We look forward to seeing how people will interact with the design, in the future.
r+m's last working day of the year was spent helping out in the community, in accordance with tradition. The morning was spent helping Coast Care clean, tidy, and repair Douglas Bay Reserve in Barrys Bay. The reserve was transformed in a matter of hours with more than a dozen pairs of hands on deck, with large amounts of rubbish removed, tracks cleared, and trees trimmed.
Car parks are a key component of supermarket layout and design, but they can detract significantly from a street landscape and building façade. Since 2010, r+m has been involved in many Pak'nSave and New World projects with Foodstuffs South Island Ltd., to help develop robust, safe, and user-friendly parking with minimal visual impact.
With the final stage completed in November 2017, Wainoni Pak'n Save has been redeveloped in stages since 2011. Three large stormwater basins and riparian vegetation manage the on-site run-off of stormwater while providing Wainoni Road, which is in front of the supermarket, with natural visual amenities.
In addition, r+m worked closely with McCoy + Wixon architects to develop creative solutions that integrate landscaping with the façade of the building. The result successfully provides for both the customers and the business' operational needs, while integrating the community's visual amenity and ecology.
The 'Market Gardens' Playground at Prestons Park is well underway and set to be complete in time for Christmas. This naturalistic yet colourful playground provides for all skill-levels and appeals to all ages. There's a slide, swing set with a flying saucer, spring rocker, stepping stones, talking tubes, and even some old school hopscotch and four square courts - ball not included. There are also plenty of seats and even a scooter rack for those who travel through the reserve. r+m can't wait to see the completion of this playground!
In August, a fantastic couple of days were spent in Tekapo for the annual r+m weekend away. A sketch competition made an interesting start to the weekend, followed by curling on the ice rink, and a delicious dinner at the local Japanese restaurant. The majority of staff went skiing at Round Hill on the second day, with the non-skiers heading to Mt. Cook to walk the Hooker Valley Track. A well-deserved soak in the hot pools preceded a fabulous dinner prepared by Johnny Schwass. The judging of the sketching competition (won by Sophie), some interesting games, singing (by some), and dancing (by others), continued the evening. Everyone had a great weekend!
In cityscapes, trees are highly desirable as they provide shade, variance in scale, and visual relief from the buildings around them. They are an integral part of the ARP design, but there were considerable difficulties with existing sub-surface conditions. r+m worked with the ARP project team and the Christchurch City Council to overcome these problems by using 'Stratavault' modules (Ex Metro Green Ltd) in the tree pits. These are currently being built in the ARP promenade section of Antigua to Durham. The tree pits are filled with topsoil, allowing tree roots to penetrate beyond the tree pit and under paved areas, promoting a large healthy canopy in turn. The robust modules are assembled around underground services and maintain the overhead vehicle strength pavement's structural integrity. The Stratavault modules are an investment in the infrastructure of Christchurch to ensure that the street trees provide the city with a lasting legacy.
The annual r+m fishing trip was held on Friday, May 26. The team had an early start on the road, just after 5 am, and were on the water just after 8 am. For many, driving the inland route to Kaikoura has been a first since the earthquake in Kaikoura. It was another fantastic day with our biggest fish haul yet! Thanks to the guys at Seamist Fishing Charters (www.seamistfishing.co.nz). On the way home, the van was very quiet with most of the team catching forty winks.
r+m is excited to have another landscape architect join their Wanaka team. Wendy Mogine has joined the two staff currently in the Wanaka office, bumping numbers by 50%. She spent the last six years in Dunedin running her own landscape architecture practice, working on a wide range of projects in a variety of scales and contexts, mostly rural, urban, residential, and public amenities. To deliver the best possible results, Wendy believes in a customer-focused, collaborative approach to design. Welcome to the r+m team Wendy.
For the annual NZILA conference, a team of eight from r+m's offices in Christchurch and Wanaka headed to Wellington. This year's theme was 'Small Urban', with four sub-themes, Opportunistic Urban, Wild Urban, Urban Advocacy, and Moving Urban. The team attended three field trips, covering Coast, Eco and City, and all enjoyed them thoroughly.
Peter Rough recently travelled around Iran for a month. This included a circuit that encompassed Tehran, Shiraz, Eghlid, Yazd, Esfahan, and Kashan in central Iran. He saw some incredible desert landscape, backed by the impressive mountains of Zagros. Peter visited a number of fascinating historical sites, stayed in a caravanserai, had a homestay in a small village, and saw some remarkable buildings. The local people's friendliness was incredible with many strangers coming up to him on the street, shaking hands and saying "welcome to my country" or "welcome to Iran."
r+m is providing the East Lake Trust with graphics and design support. The committee was formed in response to strong public support for an east Christchurch water sports and recreation facility. r+m is volunteering their time together with the trustees to support this project. They are excited to be part of an initiative that values recreation and sport in the community as well as eastward regeneration.
r+m is working on the new City Library with Architectus. Conceptual and detailed design work was undertaken for two podium reading and breakout spaces. The library is currently being built on its high-profile, inner-city site.
Note: image supplied by Architectus in association with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Keep an eye out for one of the r+m team on 'Black Beauty'. Always conscious of the environment, r+m is trialling an electric bike - affectionately dubbed 'Black Beauty'- for transit to meetings in the inner city. Peter Thornton of Christchurch Electric Bicycles has kindly loaned the OKD bike, 'Black Beauty'.
r+m staff members Brooke Mitchell and Nikki Smetham were both successfully elected at the recent NZILA executive elections. While Brooke, who was in the role of vice president, returns for a second term, for Nikki this will be new territory. Both bring significant experience to the executive and a much-needed voice for inquiry. Elections for the NZILA Executive are held every two years.
We are excited to be involved in the design and documentation for this anchor project, as part of the Hawkins Design-Build team, which will create a new public realm for Christchurch City.
r+m shall provide advice to the District Council of Kaikoura on the landscape and visual effects of the proposed restoration work required for the opening of the coastal highway north of Kaikoura. r+m's role is in the peer review of NCTIR's landscape reports for the removal of landslides, and realignment of road and rail corridors.
A couple of keen mountain bikers from our team tested their skills at Christchurch Adventure Park just four days before the Port Hills fires. r+m will now seek to assist its clients, in any way they can, whose properties have been, sadly, affected by the fires.
St Michael's Church School is an iconic site in Christchurch's central city. r+m is currently working with the school to develop a vision for the new look and feel of the school, which was affected by the roll changes following the earthquakes in Christchurch. They prepared a masterplan and are currently working through this project's developed design phase.
Queenstown Airport Corporation has requested r+m to provide landscape and visual assessment for the proposed NASA balloon launch pad adjacent to the airport of Wanaka. Consent was granted for the project and construction is underway to allow launch in April-May 2017.
The team left their technology behind, as part of the community spirit of r+m, swapping it for spades and levels for a day of landscape restoration. Under the hot Canterbury sun, it was a day of toil making paths, installing a clothesline, trimming hedges, mowing lawns, and weeding gardens, all for a great cause. What a wonderful feeling to help a family who is going through a difficult time.
r+m is working with Bossley Architects and Cymon Allfrey Architects to 'reconfigure' the existing Science Alive Law Courts. Located on Durham Street, the law courts will move to the new precinct of justice making way for a new use of this prime urban site. An exciting element of this project is a desire for visitors and website users to experience science both inside and outside.
Note: image supplied by Bossley/Cymon Allfrey Architects
As the year rolls on and we get closer to the end, there was another installation of the, now famous, amazing-race style event between r+m and kamomarsh. In 2016, r+m and kamomarsh returned to teams and went head to head. Tony Milne and Danny Kamo again conjured up a surprise day, culminating in a finishing ceremony and awards ceremony at Cassels Brewhouse. In the sporting activities, Bellamy and Walle's r+m team triumphed, unfortunately, their lack of dedication to the sketchbook resulted in the golden boot slipping out of their grasp.
r+m has been engaged by Meridian Energy to assess how their assets in the Mackenzie Basin and Waitaki Valley are viewed in the landscape, with particular regard to colour. Their findings have been used as part of Meridian Energy's maintenance program to help determine a preferred colour for repainting power station roofs and penstocks at Aviemore, Ohau A, B, and C.
r+m was excited to support Bike'Vember 2016 and a group of Wanaka bike enthusiasts. This enabled them to reinforce their community relations and support a local event. They are looking forward to dressing up in more elaborate period costumes and hopping back on their bikes at the end of 2017!
HPA Consultants engaged the r+m Wanaka office as part of the design team for this new Cromwell Lifestyle Village. Construction on-site is well underway and the Wanaka r+m team is excited to see their design work come to life so fast!
r+m is launching an initiative known as 'Riparian Sidekick', which provides farmers with a comprehensive service to manage and implement the riparian scheme of their farm from the very beginning. The Riparian Sidekick follows the Sustainable Dairying Water Agreement of Dairy NZ, which requires all dairy farms to have a plan for stream banks by 2020 and to implement these plans by 2030.
r+m acknowledges, however, that streams are not just running through dairy farms and therefore offering their service to the agricultural sector as a whole. Farm owners will select their level of involvement in the process of analyzing, designing/planning, staging, pricing, sourcing, planting, and preserving the riparian scheme of their farm. The rest will be taken care of by the Riparian Sidekick.
When we plant our waterways, everybody benefits. The environmental positive and far-reaching effect is well understood. However, your farm business also has many direct and significant benefits.