Though landscape architecture is always a response to context, the formation of islands and archipelagos as gardens, groves and wilderness is a strong dimension of my work.

Island forms stimulate diverse  use and meaning, so make places of rich imaginative function.  Interpreted variously as sanctuaries, preserves, places of defense and prospect, places of incarceration, isolation or remoteness: there is endless potential to overlay and alter these meanings in the abstract spatial structure of landscapes.

Garden with 8 Islands

Crooksemoor Building Court, University of Sheffield. 2011.
with Jie Liao, Zoe Dunsiger and students UoS.

Cloister garden used recycled turf, stone, soil, shrubs and grasses. The garden was constructed by removing turf to create circular islands, and seeding a ‘sea’ of native wild grasses around preserved island lawns. The removed turf was stacked to create sculpted volumes: cube, cylinder, oblelisk, reinforced with prunings of Contoneaster horizontalis that had been cut back to allow better stair access. The environmental principle: take nothing, (re)use everything was applied. Crossing the cloister court became a game of island-hopping. Picnic lunches took place on the islands.