Hugh Tennent

Architecting Sustainability

In this episode, we speak to the talented and grounded Wellington, New Zealand-based architect Hugh Tennent. If you’re interested in design, if you’ve ever felt there was something special in the spaces here at Aro Ha Wellness Retreat, or if you’re in the process of designing something yourself, then this is your episode.

A wooden building with mountains in the background
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About Hugh

Hugh is responsible for design direction of all major projects at Tennent Brown Architects based in Wellington, New Zealand. He is recognised for his responsiveness to context and environment and expression of the human agenda of the projects.

Hugh has been selected for numerous awards jurys and panels, convened the NZIA National Jury and lectured widely at conferences and speaking tours.

Particular areas of expertise include working across cultures, projects for Te Ao Māori , educational from early childhood to tertiary, reflective and religious space and sports buildings.

Hugh was made a Fellow of the NZIA in 2002 regularly lectures, tutors and critiques at VUW School of Architecture.

Show Notes


    • Damian and Hugh met over 12 years ago
    • Hugh has worked on monasteries and maraes
    • What Hugh was interested in the Aro Ha project
    • "Find the power place and sit back from it" Hugh
    • What spirituality means to him and his journey within
    • The link between internal practice, design, and architecture
    • How our most instagrammable view was created
    • How his spiritual practice enters his business
    • What's new in the world of architecture and sustainability
    • The Living Building Challenge
    • Holding the higher purpose above financial short-cuts
    • Could NZ adopt more of these type of building standards?
    • Suggestions for those wanting to make their dwelling more sustainable and efficient
    • Where does his skill for artfully crafting space come from?
    • In hindsight how could Aro Ha been improved?
    • MBSR - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
    • Kainga Ora - building homes for communities
    • Tuhoe - Te Kura Whare (living building challenge)
    • If you had a wish for your life/society/journey. What is it?



This podcast is for informational purposes only and not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician.

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