We imagine buildings and landscapes which slightly confound, solemnly stand up to us, hold our attention and with intention create lasting value over a multitude of generations – both in an intellectual and in an extremely direct, basic, emotional sense. We believe this can be achieved through listening, and then a conscious balancing of at-first-glance apparent contradictions and jarring harmonies, levels of incompleteness, or overlapping fragments of not-so-obvious (even questionable) coherence – finally resulting in places of endearing, novel and meaningful relationships.

A courtyard is in its essence a compromise, a contradiction, an incision into the roof; an operation not without problems, but made with the intent of bringing light and air into the depths of a house. I imagine then the realisation of gardens within courtyards happened coincidentally at first, with birds dropping seeds into the earth – only later would people discover the benefits of caring for the micro-climates within them and their latent potential.

Our interest in unresolved tensions appreciates the existing physical realm – it enjoys a dialogue with the potent and messy world around us, interacting with it in unexpected ways and willfully results in a contemporary statement on our human condition.

Plants clean the air, provide shade, create food, and as well often simply provide, by chance, a place to lean against. Watching their foliage sway in the wind can induce a deep state of calm meditation. In a garden, plants more or less accommodate our wishes by growing where we ask them to, as long as we respect their basic needs – collaborating with us in creating the defined space we dream of.

… We need something to symbolise our lives. In a world in which everything has turned into interchangeable parts, a person wants to cry out, 'Yes, here I am!', and so proclaim that we live in the space between life and death. (Yoshizaka Takamasa, 1967)