One of the nice things about focusing on 'Art Houses' in our current issue is that it gave us a good excuse to photograph the Auckland home of artist Stephen Bambury and his wife Jan.


The home was designed a decade ago by Pip Cheshire of Cheshire Architects (with assistance from Kendon McGraill); Stephen Bambury describes living there as "like living inside one of my paintings".

Indeed, Patrick Reynolds' photos of the house - those that I'm using in this post didn't make it into our article - beautifully capture the connections between Stephen's rigorous, meditative paintings and his home.






One of the best things about the house is its connection with its garden. Stephen has long been fascinated with the exquisite walled gardens of Suzhou, near Shanghai, where in more elegant times Beijing's leading civil servants retired to create beautiful calligraphy while (presumably) sipping tea and watching the seasons change.


(Some of these gardens are now World Heritage Sites - Suzhou is only an hour from Shanghai, so you should definitely visit if you're ever in the area. The UNESCO World Heritage Guide to Suzhou's gardens is at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/813).


The Bamburys' garden is as restrained and, in its own contemporary way, as pleasing as those in Suzhou. It is also a reminder that, in our view-obsessed nation, a small view of a garden on a constrained city site can be as pleasing as a massive coastal vista. To prove this point, some more of Patrick's shots:



To view more of Stephen Bambury's work: http://www.jensengallery.com/

To see more of Pip Cheshire's work (including Auckland's newly planned Q Theatre and the 'House at Takapuna Clifftop', one of our other favourites): http://www.cheshirearchitects.com/
 
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