Zia Allaway talks to designers Hugo Bugg and Charlotte Harris, who have joined forces
Two of the UK’s most exciting young designers have joined forces to form a new creative partnership. Winner of the RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year 2010, Hugo Bugg is also the youngest designer to win a gold medal at RHS Chelsea, while Charlotte Harris is fresh from winning her first Gold at this year’s event. The designers will retain their respective studios in Exeter and London, pooling resources and staff to spearhead their new venture. We talk to Hugo Bugg about Harris Bugg studio.
HOW DID THE PARTNERSHIP COME ABOUT?
We have known each other for more than three years. Mark Straver of Hortus Loci put us in touch when I asked if he knew of a designer who could help me with my work on the Royal Botanic Garden Jordan. The project needed detailed plant research and attention to detail, and Charlotte was the perfect person for the job. We have continued to collaborate on the Jordanian project, which is still ongoing – the masterplan has only just been signed off – and Charlotte also helped me with my Chelsea garden last year. We have worked together on other projects more recently and then decided that it would be mutually beneficial to officially combine our studios to form one larger practice.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR YOU BOTH?
We both have different but complementary skills, which is helpful for any business. Moreover, being able to consult someone’s decision I respect is something I really value; I know we both feel that we push each other to be better through really positive interrogation and development of our design work. Our ambitions are the same – we would like to have an eclectic portfolio of private and public spaces, using materials and plants to produce dynamic yet durable, sustainable landscapes that speak the spirit of the place.
ARE THERE ANY PROJECTS THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON NOW THAT YOU FIND PARTICULARLY EXCITING?
We are lucky enough to have a few exciting projects on the go, but one at the top of that list is the landscape for a new hotel in the Scottish West Highlands near Glencoe. The period house is set in a beautiful estate, and the hotel will comprise four large rooms in the main building, with cottages and bothies dotted around the estate where people can enjoy the wilder environment. Our job is to create a fantastic but sensitively designed landscape and to reinvigorate the existing gardens, which used to be famous for their rhododendrons but have been neglected over recent years. It is a really interesting project and the scenery up there just takes your breath away.
To view more of Charlotte and Hugo’s work, visit www.harrisbugg.com