Two fast-rising names in landscape design have joined forces to form an exceptionally talented and exciting creative team. Charlotte Harris Studio and Hugo Bugg Landscapes have now merged to found Harris Bugg Studio.
The union presents an unusual and compelling opportunity for clients and partners to benefit from the talents of two of the UK’s top designers in one package. Bugg was one of the youngest ever RHS Chelsea gold medal winner in 2014 and a previous RHS Young Designer of the Year. Harris, who trained under Tom Stuart-Smith, is debuting at RHS Chelsea with a show garden on Main Avenue this year for Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), having previously worked on a number of Main Avenue gardens, including the planting for Bugg’s award-winning RBC entry last year.
The pair have been collaborating on several projects to date, including the design for the new 445 acre Royal Botanical Gardens currently under construction in Jordan. They are also already working together on a number of new projects including a Scottish Highland estate, six residential gardens, and retreat and wildlife gardens for a new hospice site.
It is anticipated that the current core team of five people will expand over time although Harris Bugg Studio will remain a small operation with the two leads directing every project. Bugg said: “Charlotte and I both like being hands on. We value working directly with clients, and being on site. We will never get so large that we become just managers. This is all about us doing what we love and taking it to the next level.”
Harris and Bugg’s design intent is to create beautiful, hard-working, contemporary and intelligent landscapes that tell the story of their location and that create the perfect setting for the built environments to which they relate, using materials and planting in creative and innovative ways. A key motivator for both designers is to inspire young people in particular to value, benefit from and protect the outdoor world.
According to Bugg, “We want to make spaces that people feel uplifted by and enjoy being in, whether that’s a private garden, a healing space, or an urban oasis in a busy city centre. We have different and complementary strengths but are on the same business and creative wave length. By unifying our businesses, we will each be able to spend more time focussing on the parts we both love, and bring that as a benefit to our clients. We can bounce off one another and really drive for even higher levels of quality.”
Harris agreed: “It makes so much sense for us to combine our studios in this way. We both enjoy stretching ourselves creatively, and when we work together we push each other to be better than we are individually. We love to develop the story behind each garden we create, to make it singular and appropriate. Hugo is technically brilliant and has unbounded energy. I bring a love for the history of a place, and a joy for unpicking the idiosyncrasies and previous interactions in a landscape. And together, we share the same basic design principles and approaches, as well as a desire to keep trying new things.”
Tom Harfleet, Head of RHS Show Development, and RHS Chelsea Show Manager, commented: “I’m excited about the prospect of two of the most exciting designers to emerge in recent years deciding to join forces, combining their experience, creativity and passion for pushing the boundaries. There’s no doubt in my mind that this will be a powerhouse partnership.”
Harris Bugg Studio will keep both existing studios in London and Exeter, with the two designers splitting their time equally between each. Harris explained: “Having two locations is helpful, giving us the flexibility to really respond to our clients’ servicing needs wherever their projects are based.”