People and Nature

People and Nature add

The instinctive bond between humans and other living systems inspires Sydney-based Architect, James Stockwell, to create architecture that is grafted to the earth, integrated into the environment and as a result, more durable and enduring.

Embracing 'biophilic' architecture, James Stockwell Architects takes on only a limited number of projects every year. His work can be seen in Australia and New Zealand.
Stockwell's unconventional design process begins with pitching a tent on site, which gives him and his design team the opportunity to slow down and truly see the natural systems.

"Geology and climate determine every aspect of a site and so it is important to understand the natural systems and work alongside them," says Stockwell.

Each natural element is considered by Stockwell as significant to developing a design that is less about protection and more about engagement.

"Edward Wilson wrote of 'Biophilia' as ‘the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life'. I think we inherently desire closeness to the natural world. The role of architecture to protect us from nature as well as enable us to embrace it seems to be opposed. I like this apparent paradox and my work treads this line," says Stockwell.

Stockwell's uplifting and unique approach to design has been well received. In 2013 he received the VIC Sustainable Architecture Award. And in 2009 a project titled 'Snowy Mountain House' received the National Architecture Award, the Blackett Award and the NSW Architecture Residential Award. In addition, Stockwell's clients completely embrace and are enthusiastic about his sustainable and biophilic practice.

"It's a delight that clients are completely enthusiastic about the work. It has been a shared experience of discovery. Cost saving and practicality in passive solar design, delight in natural low embodied energy materials and bringing closeness to the natural world are pretty easy to win people over with," says Stockwell.

James Stockwell is a guest speaker at the upcoming ADNZ conference from 26-28 October in Auckland. It is his hope that his time at the conference will encourage people to pursue passive solar design, local materials and local culture as place making forces.

For more information on James Stockwell Architects visit:

To register for the 2016 ADNZ conference visit: