Resilio Studio were engaged to create a vision and concept for an ‘eco retreat’ on a 12 hectare property in Kumeu, Auckland. After undertaking a thorough analysis of the property considering a wide range of environmental, aesthetic and experiential conditions, we created a plan for the site that drew on the unique character of the site to create an authentic rural experience for urban dwellers. This was achieved through the creation of a diverse rural property, which included intensive food production, mixed orchards, grazing, sustainable forestry and nature restoration. Visitors to the site would have the opportunity to partake, if they choose, in the maintenance and management of the farm – harvesting food, chopping firewood, herding animals. The accommodation included a range of styles that drew on the vernacular of the area and echoed the rural activity it was situated within – a ‘cabin’ in the forest, a ‘cottage’ in the orchard and a ‘barn’ for larger groups and events. The final design document provided a comprehensive landscape and architectural framework to guide the development of the site over time, based on inherent opportunities, constraints and existing site features.