Author(s): Michael Barrett
First and foremost, this is a book about New Zealand landscape architecture and urban design, viewed through the lens of Isthmus, an award-winning design studio that for more than 25 years has been shaping and reshaping the way we experience our land and cityscapes. It is also a story about New Zealand, about changing perspectives and attitudes to the use of land and water, the way we organise our cities, the way we play, live and work, and the lessons from the past that can influence the way we build new communities. Coast, Country, Neighbourhood, City presents 25 projects, from small playscapes that put children back at the heart of the city right through to large infrastructural works, such as the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, that have transformed cities by turning them around to face the water. These works are set against against a background of contemporary debates about making the new New Zealand, housing and population intensification, urbanisation and landscape protection. It is hoped that this book will bring these integrated works of landscape, urban design and architecture to a wider audience.
This is a generous, well-crafted and beautifully photographed book that also explains the process of design through drawing. The 25 projects illustrate design ideas, the stories behind them, and the impact that these project have had on their communities. Importantly, Coast, Country, Neighbourhood, City is the first published compilation of works detailing the output of one New Zealand design studio with a strong record of innovative landscape architecture practice.
Long-listed for Ockham New Zealand Book Awards - Illustrated Non-Fiction 2016.
Since 1988, Isthmus has pioneered the design of culturally meaningful, enduring and inspiring environments, in that time becoming one of New Zealand's leading design studios. Well known for an ability to make a positive impact across a wide range of project types, Isthmus's works of landscape architecture, urban design and, more recently, architecture have created vibrant new communities, healthy new ecologies, and built environments that are simple in their expression yet rich in authenticity, value and culture. Over the last three decades the practice has achieved some of this country's highest design honours. Michael Barrett is a writer and editor who writes predominately about New Zealand design and its impact upon the built environment. He is a former editor of Landscape Architecture New Zealand, Interior, Prodesign and has contributed to a number of other publications.