Queenstown landscape architects win national award for ‘show-stopping’ garden

Leading Queenstown landscape architects Baxter Design Group Limited are celebrating a national win at the 2022 Resene New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architecture (NZILA) Awards.

The team brought home the Award of Excellence for Residential and Gardens for their landscape design on a Millbrook Resort home – one of only two national awards given for residential work.

Paddy Baxter and Mark Stallard from Baxter Design say they’re “thrilled” with the result.

“The award recognises the high level of detailing and execution in our work but also our ability to work effectively with clients. It really acknowledges what we do as a business and have been doing for 30 years,” says Paddy.

The established team of award-winning landscape architects have undertaken many large-scale projects in the Whakatipu Basin and further afield.

“Residential projects form an important part of our wider portfolio and it’s fantastic to be nationally recognised for this project.

“We had an outstanding site and a great client, who allowed us to express our full range of creative design on a scale not often seen in residential design.”

The show-stopping garden flows through a series of seamlessly connected spaces, creating elements of surprise, opportunities for privacy and outdoor spaces that celebrate panoramic views.

“It’s one of the largest residential gardens at Millbrook Resort, which means everything had to meet stringent Millbrook Design Control covenants,” says Paddy.

“This was the only short-listed residential award in the South Island and only one of two national awards given for residential work. We were humbled to be acknowledged by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects for our work.”

NZILA judges say the “elegant and graceful” garden is very much in keeping with local environs and the wider context, integrating the home into its surrounding landscapes.

“The stone walls and clipped planting resonate with the regional rural landscape while also drawing on the style of European formal gardens. The garden responds to its sense of place with its materials and indigenous plants.”

The judges praise the scale and placement of “enormous boulders” in direct relationship to the surrounding mountain tops.

“The quality of detailing and execution is exemplary throughout the construction.”

Client Stewart Callaghan says he and his family “couldn’t be happier” with Paddy and Mark’s work both during the process and with the outcome.

“It was a very challenging assignment to transform a rolling hill into a magnificent New Zealand alpine garden with some inspiration from classic Italian gardens and French village squares and boulevards,” he says.

“Baxter Design brought a blend of creativity, discipline, technical ability, problem-solving, attention to detail and user-friendliness to an overseas based client to the project.

“The garden is a show-stopper at any time of the year.”

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