A Place to Call Our Own NZ ARCHITECTS’ HOMES IN AUCKLAND, ARROWTOWN, CANTERBURY & LOS ANGELES Photographs by
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ARCHITECTS' OWN HOMES 64.
Lance and Nicola Herbst and an Auckland icon
Justin and Louise Wright’s new southern life
Simon Storey’s Los Angeles manoeuvres
Alasdair and Jeannie Hood’s Canterbury classic
Julia Gatley and Jeremy Rotherham’s modernist marvel
Photography / Simon Devitt
Inside the new Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, designed by Pattersons. Photo by Simon Devitt. For more, see p.44.
28. SHOP HOUSE
Locavore dining goes up in the world
ART & DESIGN
30. LIGHT FANTASTIC
17. KING HIT
A world of illumination comes to Auckland Art Gallery
A family home climbs steep volcanic slopes 21. DESIGN FINDS
New design items in stores now 26. DESIGN RENEWAL
A New Zealand designer and a city's urban renewal
32. PRIMARY OBJECTIVE
A new exhibition of work by Milan Mrkusich 34. WORKING WELL
Fashion label EugĂŠnie's smart new store 36. SITTING PRETTY
EXTRAS 44. WHITE MAGIC
A new heart for Christchurch's Botanic Gardens 50. THE RETURN HOME
Art by Colin McCahon revisits his former Titirangi home 56. PEACHY KEEN
Spring design gets fruity
29. HOME OF THE YEAR ENTRIES
Enter our annual search for New Zealand's best home 132. BATHROOMS
A design guide to beautiful bathrooms 142. SUBSCRIBE TO HOME
Subscribe and save 146. MY FAVOURITE BUILDING
Dajiang Tai and an Auckland masterpiece 8 / HOME NEW ZEALAND
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CONTRIBUTORS SIMON DEVITT
Call us today to arrange a free, no obligation consultation on 0800 102 100. Eligibility criteria apply.
How did you go about choosing the homes in this issue? I wanted a mix of architects’ homes in a variety of environments, and wanted to show some new houses and some that have been around for a little while. I’m really happy with the mix.
Places like the Botanic Gardens are a vital link back to Christchurch’s past. How important are new buildings like this one? New buildings like the Botanic Gardens’ Visitors’ Centre are critically important for the city: they provide a concrete example of the fact that good design is not synonymous with high cost and that heritage is something we can lay down for the future as well as retain from the past. They also cheer us up: for the past four years our urban environment has been full of rubble and hurricane fencing and road cones and huge dusty holes. We’ve lost the whimsicality of our architectural heritage—neo-Gothic turrets and arched stone windows and the polychromatic brickwork of our Victorian buildings, all those places that represented Christchurch in the public imagination. I like the fact that the Visitors’ Centre is a robustly contemporary building which acknowledges its place in a historical continuum of orangeries and exhibition glasshouses. But primarily what I warm to about it is its appeal to the imagination.
We’re very proud of our new website. How do you take the essence of a bi-monthly magazine like HOME and make it work for the web with fresh content every day? Are there things you can cover that the physical magazine can’t? Because good design is timeless, we can feature beautiful homes and design pieces on the site fearlessly, as they will never become stale. The instantaneous nature of the web is also perfectly suited to highlighting talks, interviews, trends, awards and events in real time.
You’ve recently started as the Christchurch Art Gallery’s new senior curator in time for the gallery’s re-opening next year. What can we expect to see? We’re going to reopen with a major exhibition from the Gallery’s collections. We’ll include old favourites as well as new works that haven’t yet been seen by the public. We’ll include new commissions on a large scale.
What’s your favourite house so far? I’m a sucker for mid-century modern furnishings, so the Cedric Firth house, and fashion designer Emily Cooper’s home in Dunedin are easy favourites. I also recently added a Whanganui house to the site which was designed and built by three architecture graduates behind the ﬁrm Patch Work Architecture, and I love it. The agile way they worked within a tight budget is inspirational, and it looks great, too.
The photographer selected and photographed all the architects’ homes for this issue.
Many of the architects featured don’t live in houses they’ve designed. Did you get a sense of why that might be? I think in New Zealand an apple doesn’t fall far away from its tree and it’s a small and very well-formed family tree we have here. There’s also a lot to love about New Zealand design, so why not appreciate living in one? I think you can learn a lot from experiencing other people’s designs. Living in them allows time to reveal all of the subtlety and beauty. You’ve shot many of New Zealand’s best homes over the years. What makes a good one? I think there are many ingredients that make a home really sing. To me the main things that seem to have gone right are the collaboration between the architects and the clients, the site and the architects’ response to it, and sometimes – but to a much lesser extent – the budget. What are you working on right now? I’m currently working with a crop of very talented architects, photographing their very ﬁne work. I’m also working on a number of new publications including a self-published ‘zine’ and a new self-published book. All long-term, but then good things take time.
The Christchurch curator wrote about the city’s new Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre (p.44).
HOME’s web editor has been managing our new online offering, homemagazine.co.nz
It’s early days, but what do HOME readers like to read online? Is it what you expected, or different? Unsurprisingly, they love the homes featured on the site. The most popular one so far is an unaltered Wellington home designed by Cedric Firth in 1958 and now occupied by architects Alistair Luke and Sharon Jansen and their daughters. They also like kitchen inspiration: current favourite is an Auckland renovation which has split the scullery and food preparation areas in two.
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Editor Jeremy Hansen Art Director Arch MacDonnell Inhouse Design Senior Designer Sarah Gladwell Inhouse Design Designer Oliver Worsfold Inhouse Design Senior Stylist/Designer Kendyl Middelbeek On our cover, a photograph by Simon Devitt of architects Lance and Nicola Herbst, who live in Auckland’s Heke Street house, designed in the late 1980s by Julie Stout and David Mitchell. For more, see p.64.
Stylist/Designer Samantha Totty
Chief Executive Ofﬁcer Paul Dykzeul
Editorial Ofﬁce Bauer Media Group Shed 12, City Works Depot 90 Wellesley St Auckland New Zealand homenewzealand@ bauermedia.co.nz +64 9 308 2739
Commercial Director Paul Gardiner Group Sales & Marketing Manager Amber Ardern Commercial Sales Manager Liezl Hipkins-Stear firstname.lastname@example.org +64 9 308 2873 Classiﬁed Advertising Kim Chapman classiﬁeds@xtra.co.nz +64 7 578 3646 Brand Manager Ingrid Frisk email@example.com +64 9 308 2844 Events and Sponsorship Manager Jessica Allan Financial Business Analyst Ferozza Patel Inside the McCahon House Museum in Auckland, photographed by Jeremy Toth. For more, see p.50.
ONE OF THE SIMPLEST DELIGHTS OF SUMMER IS EATING OUT WITHOUT HAVING TO LEAVE HOME
Group Production Manager Lisa Sloane Production Co-ordinator Clare Pike
Editorial Assistant Fiona Williams
Postal address HOME New Zealand Bauer Media Group Private Bag 92512 Wellesley Street Auckland 1141 New Zealand Subscription Enquiries magshop.co.nz/home 0800 MAGSHOP or 0800 624 746 firstname.lastname@example.org +64 9 308 2721 (tel) +64 9 308 2769 (fax) Bulk/Corporate Subscriptions email@example.com +64 9 308 2700
Contributors Jo Bates Sam Eichblatt Julia Gatley Simon Farrell-Green Hamish Haydon Julie Hill Amelia Holmes Majka Kaiser Emily Macrae Adrienne Rewi Lara Strongman Photographers Nathan Dawes Simon Devitt Guy Frederick Samuel Hartnett Russell Kleyn Toaki Okano David Straight Jeremy Toth Advertising Auckland Liezl Hipkins-Stear firstname.lastname@example.org +64 9 308 2873 Sydney Massey Archibald marchibald@ bauer-media.com.au +61 2 8268 6273 Printer Webstar Distributor Netlink Distribution Company HOME New Zealand is subject to copyright in its entirety and the contents may not be reproduced in any form, either in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved in material accepted for publication, unless initially speciﬁed otherwise. All letters and other material forwarded to the magazine will be assumed intended for publication unless clearly labelled “not for publication”. We welcome submissions of homes that architects or owners would like to be considered for publication. Opinions expressed in HOME New Zealand are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of Bauer Media Group. No responsibility is accepted for unsolicited material. ABC average net circulation, April 2013 to March 2014: 11,286 copies ISSN 1178-4148
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Fledgling Spanish design company Parachilna, named after an Australian outback town, launched recently with stunning credentials. These Anwar floor lamps, for instance, are designed by Stephen Burks, one of the most recognised Amercian industrial designers of his generation. His work with artisans around the globe informs the light woven structure of his Anwar series.
Itâ€™s delicacy is in fact an illusion, as it is constructed with steel rods electroplated in black, gold or copper. Anwar is in store now, along with other new ranges from Parachilna. Mike Thorburn Managing Director, ECC
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Visit our new website homemagazine.co.nz @homenewzealand, @_jeremyhansen facebook.com/home.nz.mag @homenewzealand
Photography / Simon Devitt
Photography / Mark Smith
Top left The ﬁsh pond at the Heke Street house, designed by David Mitchell and Julie Stout, p.64. Top right Inside Simon Storey's Los Angeles home, p.90. Above left Alasdair and Jeannie Hood's 1970s Canterbury home, designed by Ken Pearse, p.104. Above right The Remarkables range viewed from Justin and Louise Wright's Arrowtown home, p.78.
Architects are often charged with the task of creating idealised worlds: the pressure to devise a so-called "dream home" weighs heavily almost every housedesign project they take on. But very few of them get to live in unfettered expressions of their creativity. If they do get to build homes of their own, they are subject to all the constraints – budget, site, deadlines – that are inescapable on every project. This issue features the homes of six New Zealand designers, all selected and photographed by Simon Devitt. His portfolio beautifully captures the intensity of the relationships that every couple in these pages has with the places they live in. Some of them have designed their own residences: In Los Angeles, Simon Storey has crafted an urbane, multi-level dwelling on a site just four-and-a-half metres wide (p.90), and in Arrowtown, husband-and-wife architectural duo Justin and Louise Wright studied the techniques of grouphousing companies to get their handsome, economical family home erected in near-record time (p.78). Other designers in these pages occupy the creations of other people. In Auckland, Julia Gatley and Jeremy Rotherham recently moved into an experimental mid-century icon designed in the early 1950s by Jeremy's father, Bruce Rotherham (p.118); just across town, Lance and Nicola Herbst live in another iconic creation, the Heke Street house, which David Mitchell and Julie Stout designed in the late 1980s (p.64). In Canterbury, Alasdair and Jeannie Hood live in a 1970s home designed for Jeannie's grandparents by architect Ken Pearse (p.104). Interestingly, these designers have no plans to alter their homes to conform to their own notions of perfection, whatever they might be. "I like the idea that we have been forced to adapt to the house rather than us adapting it," says Alasdair Hood. Their occupation of these dwellings is like a series of long and fascinating architectural conversations, full of rich and complex insights about the ways we live that we're delighted to share with you here. –Jeremy Hansen, Editor
We hope you're enjoying our new website, homemagazine. co.nz, which we launched in August and which features a generous offering of inspiring homes from our pages, design ideas for kitchens and bathrooms, and newsy items we think you'd like to know about. You'll ﬁnd fresh content there every day, as we have so much of it to offer you: the site is a great opportunity to showcase many of the wonderful homes from recent issues of the magazine, including extra images that may not have made it into our pages. I'm sure you'll ﬁnd these creations reward a second and third look. Our Facebook page and Twitter feed will alert you to each new post that goes up on our site. And rest assured: if you're a fan of print (as we assuredly are) you won't feel as if you're falling behind, as our print edition still contains exclusive ﬁrst looks at all the homes we like best.
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 15
THE DAILY GRIND YOU JUST CAN’T DO WITHOUT.
EXPERIENCE PERFECTION EVERYDAY. From the country that invented the espresso machine and perfected the HY[VMJVɈLLTHRPUNJVTLZ[OLTVZ[ZVWOPZ[PJH[LKHUK`L[LSLNHU[S` ZPTWSL[V\ZL-\SS`(\[VTH[PJ*VɈLL4HJOPULZ-YVTILHU[VJ\W[OL` KLSP]LY[OLM\SSLZ[ÅH]V\YJVɈLL^P[O[OLWLYMLJ[JVUZPZ[LUJ`J\WHM[LYJ\W L]LUMYV[OPUNHUKOLH[PUN[OLTPSRQ\Z[[OL`^H``V\SPRLP[
Below Richard McLeay designed a home for his own family that snakes up across multple levels of its slim site in Three Kings, Auckland.
KING HIT Richard McLeay designs a home for his family on the steep slopes of a dormant volcano in Auckland. TEXT / Julie Hill PHOTOGRAPHY / Simon Devitt
It was a tape measure that led Richard McLeay to the site of his family home in Auckland’s Three Kings, shared by his partner Philippa and their children Isla, six, and Fergus, seven. On his way to a house he was working on, Richard realised he’d forgotten that all-too-important tool of the trade, and made haste for the nearest Mitre 10. En route, he discovered his plot-to-be: a slim and verdant section that snakes steeply and wonkily upwards to Big King Park. There is really only one king left in Three Kings. Last century’s enthusiastic red scoria quarrying reduced the East King and Highest King mountains to holes
in the ground, leaving middle brother Big King to carry on the dynasty. Now, it’s a reserve, protected from mining and, since the 1970s, from being built on. Picnickers can visit its centuries-old kumara pit, enjoy the magniﬁcent views or clamber up to the mountaintop water tank that saved it from destruction. After Richard and Philippa bought the site, a leisurely engagement of around six years elapsed, followed by a panicked dash from the altar. A series of events had, it seems, given them the spooks. Firstly, Richard’s original plans turned out to be a touch more grandiose than was affordable. Then came news that Auckland’s Volcanic Cones Society was trying to prevent houses being built on nearby Mt Hobson. “I made the mistake of calling the council,” says Richard. “I asked whether that might affect this site, and I don’t know who I got but she said it might, it might! So that opened up another can of worms.” Shortly afterwards, the housing market went kaput, at which point they gave up and put the site back on the market. Happily, the housing market eventually swung back in their favour and, armed with a more modest design (which features four levels instead of the original ﬁve), they gave the site another shot. “I’m glad we did it now – and I’m really glad we didn’t do the ﬁrst one. We would have been mortgaged for the rest of our lives.”
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 17
Top Left Fergus McLeay plays on the Tasmanian oak stairs, which feature an institutional-style handrail.
Top centre A Mervyn Williams screen print hangs above a 'Wassily' armchair by Marcel Breuer.
Set back from the road, slotted unobtrusively among its older neighbours, the house, clad in chocolate-brown cedar, steps up the hill and is ﬂanked by pohutukawa which, in summer, form what Richard describes as “a sea of red.” A single carport leads to Richard’s ground-ﬂoor ofﬁce, then stairs lead up to a sunny living area. On the third ﬂoor, the kitchen and dining room open out to a courtyard, and at the top are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Each level speaks of the kind of precision that speaks of much experience in the area of slippery, sloping sites. In fact, Richard says he has never once designed for a ﬂat site. “Either they’re too expensive or the people who have them just don’t come to me.”
18 / HOME NEW ZEALAND
Bottom Built-in window seats, where Richard sits with Fergus, and cedar sarking hint at the 1970s.
Above A void in the wall connects the dining and living areas, while still allowing a degree of separation.
The home Richard grew up in, a 1970s house by Russell Withers in south Auckland, provided inspiration. “It was an easy-going place, not too precious.” That ease is reﬂected in the home’s subtle exterior. “We’re not claiming the street or anything.” Richard laughs. That 70s vibe is also felt inside, particularly the built-in furniture and window seats. And the history of Three Kings isn’t far from the surface. While digging into volcanic rock, Richard made several discoveries, notably a washing machine, a drain running through the site and an old stone wall. The quirky landscape has proved well suited to a young family. “Isla and Gus love it here and the reserve – it’s an off-leash dog area, so we got a puppy to go with the park.”
Right Stained gaboon plywood is used throughout the home, including the kitchen cabinetry and wall panelling.
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 19
EXPERIENCE THE WONDER OF LIGHT From 11 Oct Principal partner
Exhibition organised by the Hayward Gallery, London.
Discreet design ﬁnds sport a soft, newseason blush.
1 / Turned oak lamp by Rebecca Snelling for Kate Sylvester, $790 from Douglas + Bec, douglasandbec.com 2 / 'Antigua' linen wafﬂe throw, $239 from Coast, coastnewzealand.com 3 / Mug by Gidon Bing, $34 from Simon James Concept Store, store.simonjamesdesign.com 4 / 'Aura Wind Chime Dual Ring' by Nicholas Nyland and Ladies & Gentlemen Studio,
$275 from Douglas + Bec, douglasandbec.com 5 / 'Rabari 1' rug by Doshi Levien for Nanimarquina, $6600 from UFL, uﬂ.co.nz 6 / 'In Between Chair SK2' by Sami Kallio for &tradition, $895 from Design Denmark, designdenmark.co.nz 7 / Low boy by Made by Douglas and Bec, $2540 from Douglas + Bec, douglasandbec.com 8 / 'The Passenger' sofa by Simon James, from $4267, and 'Lucent' table by Matthew Hilton for Case, $1743, both from Simon James, simonjamesdesign.com 9 / 'Maison' placemat, $9.90 from Country Road, countryroad.com.au. Edited by Amelia Holmes.
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 21
New design discoveries that celebrate their earthy origins.
1 / 'Botolo' chair by Cini Boeri for Arﬂex, from $2650 from Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz 2 / Small brass bowl, $195 from Zoo Warehouse, zoowarehouse.co.nz 3 / 'Saya' chair by Lievore Altherr Molina for Arper, $1220 from UFL, uﬂ.co.nz 4 / 'Nell' cushion, $89.90 from Country Road, countryroad.com.au 5 / Broom, $34.50 from Flotsam and Jetsam, ﬂotsamandjetsam.co.nz 6 / Vintage Moroccan Berber rug, $5442 from Artisan, artisanﬂooring.co.nz 7 / Wonki Ware dinner plate, $34.50 from Indie Home Collective, indiehomecollective.com 8 / Ondri juicer, $21.90 from Country Road, countryroad.com.au 9 / Ceramic lamp by Gordon Martz for Marshall Studios, $900 from Karakter, karakter.co.nz. Edited by Amelia Holmes.
22 / HOME NEW ZEALAND
Blum showrooms 621 Rosebank Rd, Avondale, Auckland 27 Dalziel Place, Woolston, Christchurch
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Top Left: Spice Holders, Top Right: Bottle Store with chopping boards, Above: Cutlery insert
Objects for the home that boast strong silhouettes for spring.
1 / Metallic pot, $48 from Weekend Trader, weekendtrader.net 2 / 'TS' table by GamFratesi for Gubi, $1080 from Cult design, cultdesign.co.nz 3 / 'Lace' footstool by Benjamin Graindorge for Ligne Roset, from $1170 from DOMO, domo.co.nz 4 / 'Starfruit' crystal lamp by Robert Kuo, $7500 from Cavit & Co, cavitco.com 5 / 'TDV 40' stool by Filippo Dellâ€™Orto for spHaus, $1060 from Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz 6 / 'Beetle' chair by GamFratesi for Gubi, $1025 from Cult design, cultdesign.co.nz 7 / 'Container' table by Marcel Wanders for Moooi, from $5320 from ECC, ecc.co.nz 8 / Silver bowl, $139 from Indie Home Collective, indiehomecollective.com 9 / 'Bendigo' woollen blanket, $299 from Coast, coastnewzealand.com. Edited by Amelia Holmes.
24 / HOME NEW ZEALAND
Focusing on keeping production local, the wooden 'Clock Three Ways' is laser-cut in Sydney. Right Designer and retailer Sara Spence at her Newcastle shop, Dubbleyou Design.
Top right Notebooks, pencils, tea towels, plant stands and cushions are just some of the products made under Spence's design direction.
DESIGN RENEWAL A New Zealand designer plays her part in the rebirth of an Australian urban centre. TEXT / Sam Eichblatt PHOTOGRAPHY /
Dubbleyou Design Shop 18/19, Market Square, Hunter Street, Newcastle, NSW dubbleyou.com.au
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 26
Opening a physical shop to accompany an online offering might appear counterintuitive and, just three years after graduating, it wasn’t in designer Sara Spence’s game plan. Spence’s dubbleyou.com.au has been running since her ﬁnal year in graphic and object design at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts (COFA), selling her locally made homewares and accessories. But after leaving her hometown of Whanganui and moving to Newcastle via Sydney, she was offered another option. Renew Newcastle is behind much of the Australian city’s evolution from moribund former port town to what is deemed a great urban-renewal success story. The organisation asks Newcastle’s commercial landlords to donate empty spaces to aspiring designers, artists, ﬁlm-makers or anyone who “makes what they do”. The city centre has beneﬁted from the inﬂux of creative people, to the extent that its ongoing urban plan is based on a similar model of small
shops, light rail and the protection of its extraordinary historic buildings. Spence teamed with artist Sue Dawes on the application and was not assigned the 22-square-metre shop she expected, but a 102-square-metre space that they needed to renovate in three weeks. “My Dad came over to help us transform the space,” says Spence. Another small-town advantage: The “concrete guy” who’d quoted a few thousand for his services offered to do the work pro bono if they’d provide the materials. In return, Spence is building him a website and brand. Dubbleyou has bed linen, tea towels, clocks and a range of leather goods. Spence makes each prototype by hand, then takes them to a small, local team to produce. She offers other designers a lower commission rate for the store, so it’s affordable for both while they build their relationship. “If you love something and want to make it, you can,” Spence says, “but you have to think about a clever way of doing that.”
Shop Eight Food and Wine 8 New Regent Street, Christchurch 03 390 0199 shopeight.co.nz
Top left and above Rekindle kindly vacated their upstairs studio for Shop Eight's new dining room, repurposing their old desks into a table that runs down the middle. Top right There's plenty of room to enjoy a drink around the new high table and window leaner looking out to New Regent Street, a haven in the postquake central city. Above right Shop Eight's Liz Phelan and Alex Davies.
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 28
SHOP HOUSE A Christchurch locavore restaurant grows up, with a little help from friends. INTERVIEW / Majka Kaiser PHOTOGRAPHY /
HOME Why the expansion upstairs, and what are you serving there? LIZ PHELAN, SHOP EIGHT CO-OWNER In February this year we extended our hours into the late evening, with Alex Davies, our chef and co-owner, offering his daily changing menu from 6pm. The strict application of Alex’s values of environmentalism, ethical farming and localism – we use 95 percent local produce – means his food looks and tastes fantastic and is original. It was a lot of fun cramming people around the large table and in the window seats, but we were having to turn people away, so Juliet Arnott kindly agreed to relocate the Rekindle studio from upstairs.
How did you decide what you wanted the interiors to look like? Juliet agreed that I should use the Rekindle tables that had been the work desks in the studio, so we kept two intact and ran them down the middle of the space, and Rekindle's builder/engineer Tim McGurk turned the others into two-seater tables. To create the feeling of intimacy and warmth I commissioned Joska Easterbrook from Joska & Sons to make table lamps. Tim then designed and built the service station made of salvaged wood around the existing basin unit. Downstairs we wanted to develop the space to comfortably ﬁt in a few groups of drinkers, so we had a smaller, higher table made, and extended the window leaner along the wall to connect with the bar. Do you feel like a pioneer being in this area? And is Christchurch's devastated central city developing fast enough for you? In the early stages I certainly felt lonely at times and, in my moments of despair, I had to remind myself that I was one of a few blazing the trail towards a new city life. It’s a slow process, but then there isn’t much to distract you from your work. Long working days are the norm among my peers, and it is exciting to see their books published, businesses grow, leases signed and consents gained. These are brave and original projects that give me hope for the future of Christchurch.
HOME OF THE YEAR 2015 — CALL FOR ENTRIES — 1s t P R IZE
The judges of the Home of the Year award are looking for excellence and innovation in New Zealand residential architecture. The winning architects will receive a $15,000 cash prize. Entries are due by 5pm, Thursday December 11, 2014.
HOW TO ENTER Entrants must submit at least 10 colour photographs of their completed project, including interior views, as well as presentation ﬂoor plans, elevations, a 150-word description of the aims of the project and the entry form on this page. These should be submitted as hard copy PDF presentations, with PDFs and photographs (in separate folders) also supplied in digital form on disc. Entries must be sent to the postal or courier address below. Email entries will not be accepted. A shortlist of homes will selected by our judging panel and visited in March.
The 2014 Home of the Year, designed by Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects. Photo by Darryl Ward.
Name/s of designers
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY Clients’ names
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Email address Phone (daytime) Send your entries to HOME magazine Home of the Year Award Post Bauer Media Private Bag 92512 Wellesley Street Auckland 1141 Courier Bauer Media Shed 12, CityWorks Depot 77 Cook Street Auckland 1010
Address of property entered (if different from above)
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Entry conditions (1) Instructions on how to enter form part of the terms and conditions of entry. Entry implies acceptance of the terms and conditions. (2) The competition is open to anyone with a project that has been built recently in New Zealand, except the employees of Bauer Media and Altherm Window Systems, their immediate families, dealers and agents. (3) Only fully completed and furnished New Zealand homes or renovations are eligible for entry. Projects must be unpublished and not committed for publication in a mainstream commercial publication during 2014/15. What constitutes a mainstream publication is up to the judges’ discretion. (4) Bauer Media and HOME reserve all ﬁrst rights to publication of all entries, and also to publicity and/or promotional activity, including television coverage. (5) Bauer Media reserves the right to photograph, ﬁlm and otherwise record all entries and judging processes, including architects, designers and any associated parties (notwithstanding Condition 6) for promotional purposes and related projects. (6) Homeowners’ names and addresses must be supplied at the time of entry but may be withheld from publication, promotions and publicity at the owners’ request. (7) Collaborative projects must be acknowledged on the entry form by listing all parties involved. (8) It is the responsibility of entrants to seek the consent of all design parties and homeowners involved. (9) Entries must be received by 5pm, Thursday December 11, 2014. (10) The winning designer or designers of the Home of the Year 2015 will receive a $15,000 cash prize. Judging will take place in Feb/March 2015. A cheque will be presented at an award function in April 2015. The winner and ﬁnalists in the award will feature in the magazine’s April/May 2015 issue. The judges’ decision is ﬁnal; no correspondence will be entered into.
Light Show Oct 11 2014 - Feb 8 2015 Auckland Art Gallery Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland aucklandartgallery.com
long has this exhibition been in the making?
DR CLIFF LAUSON, HAYWARD GALLERY CURATOR
'Light Show' took a couple of years of research, preparation and studio and exhibition visits around the world.
LIGHT FANTASTIC Auckland Art Gallery hosts a luminous exhibition from London’s Hayward Gallery. INTERVIEW / Jeremy Hansen
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The exhibition starts in the 1960s. Why then? It generally marks a point in the history of art when the ﬁeld broadens rapidly to include performance, installation and conceptual strategies. Art that uses light as a sculptural medium establishes itself simultaneously in a number of different locations around the world through artists such as Flavin, Morellet, CruzDiez, Culbert, and the Light and Space movement in Los Angeles. What prompted artists to start featuring light as the artwork itself? Artists begin to use light for different reasons – from sculptural to scientiﬁc. Light becomes the medium through which they can shape architecture, alter perception, or make a political
point. The artworks' own light beneﬁts from a reduction in ambient light, and this is one of the usual and successful aspects of Light Show – that the exhibition is a very dramatic experience. It gives people the time and space to explore the complexities of something that we often take for granted. Despite changes in technology, is there a commonality to how artists play with light? Whether utilising the latest technology or an obsolescent one, light-based artworks are all concerned with the immateriality, the speed, and the emotive aspects of light. How have the physical works survived? Artists have usually addressed this by ensuring a continuous supply of the correct older technology – in the case of Flavin – or by updating the technology, but making careful choices to ensure the fundamental experience of the artwork is not altered. Some of the artworks are recreated each time they are installed in a different location.
Photography: Luciano Romano, Galeria Alfonso Artiaco / Blaise Adilon / Marcus J Leith
This page Works from the exhibition include Ann Veronica Janssens' 'Rose' (above), 'You and I Horizontal' by Anthony McCall (top right), 'Magic Hour' by David Batchelor (right), 'Cylinder II' by Leo Villareal (far right). Below Hayward Gallery curator Dr Cliff Lauson.
D:08 Left Modernist master Milan Mrkusich's works, including the 1994 painting 'Untitled Green', are the focus of the Aratoi exhibition.
Mrkusich and why now?
ALICE HUTCHISON, ARATOI DIRECTOR I’ve
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE A new exhibition of mostly unseen work by Milan Mrkusich. INTERVIEW / Jeremy Hansen PHOTOGRAPHY / Russell Kleyn
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always admired Milan Mrkusich as a pioneering artist in this country, on par with the finest internationally, and yet little known outside New Zealand. 'City Lights' from 1955 in the Auckland Art Gallery collection remains a landmark in New Zealand’s art history where already so early on, Mrkusich had refined studies of the advancing and receding qualities of colours. I’d just come back to New Zealand to take up the directorship at Aratoi, and Milan’s son Lewis arrived to visit very shortly thereafter – it was quite serendipitous. What can visitors expect? The proposal he presented was to exhibit a series of work from the mid1990s that has never been exhibited before as it required very specific spatial requirements – luckily Studio Pacific Architecture’s beautiful gallery here presented the ultimate architectural response. We’ve also included four monumental colourfield paintings
Below Aratoi director Alice Hutchison and a colleague installing works by Mrkusich that have never been seen before by the public.
and Te Papa has loaned us 'Achromatic Primary', 1997. We hope the installation of paintings exploring the properties of colour will be experiential: colour transcends language. Theory and narrative are quite irrelevant. A wonderful quote by Milan rings especially true in the Wairarapa context; “You want landscapes? Take a drive to the country.” You’ve recently moved to Masterton and Aratoi. What were you doing before this, and what’s it like being back in New Zealand? It’s too cold! I spent the better part of 20 years in the United States and Britain – after finishing my masters degree in art history and film at the University of Auckland, I went to New York to see the great galleries, and didn’t come back. In those years I’ve worked in London, New York and Los Angeles. I also organised New Zealand’s presentation at the 2007 Venice Biennale with Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena’s monumental sculptural video installation ‘Aniwaniwa’ – referencing cultural loss. Most recently I worked
on a region-wide initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 19451980 at the Getty, initiating a large grant in support of an international video exhibition in Long Beach, then initiated Gary Baseman: The Door is Always Open at the Skirball Cultural Center.
Above Four of the five works from Mrkusich's 'Chromatic Investigations, Second Order Chromatic Series', 1996.
Below Aratoi director Alice Hutchison with a work from the exhibition in the museum's storeroom.
What other shows have you got coming up at Aratoi? Contemporary artist Ben Buchanan is conceiving a large-scale new installation in dialogue with Mrkusich. And weâ€™re looking toward a major cultural redress, multi-platform, multi-media infobition of post-Treaty settlements in partnership with Ngati Kahungunu. Milan Mrkusich: Chromatic Investigations and Paintings from the 90s Aratoi, Oct 24 2014 â€“ Jan 31 2015 Corner Bruce and Dixon Streets, Masterton 06 370 0001 aratoi.org.nz
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WORKING WELL Eugénie opens an Auckland store as well-crafted as its clothes. INTERVIEW / Jeremy Hansen PHOTOGRAPHY /
us about Eugénie’s clothes, and how these values are reflected in the store’s interiors. ELIZABETH WILSON, EUGÉNIE OWNER I work with what I find modern and compelling, then marry that with an emphasis on cut, silhouette, quality construction and exceptional fabrics. My partner Simon Oosterdijk designed the store; we wanted to counterpoint the elegance of the garments. Synthetic compounds, folded steel, high-gloss paint and coloured zinc coatings bring a new materiality that contrasts and enhances the tactility of the clothes. We worked with the manufacturing character of the building, referencing research facilities and space centres, creating modular frameworks using off-the-shelf systems. Tell us a bit about Eugénie’s history, what were you doing before, and where the name came from. Eugénie was my grandmother’s name and it’s my middle name. I originally trained as a product and graphic designer but after a few years
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in advertising I realised my interest in fashion was much stronger. After retraining I worked for Karen Walker and have since worked as a freelance textile designer, while designing collections and planning the store. What’s the advantage in having a shop when you could sell online? I care about the experience of people encountering the range and I wanted to create an environment that is an inspiring and exciting place to be. My customers care about fit and fabric – an online store can’t deliver on those fronts. What themes does your second collection explore, and why? The primary inspiration was a photographic series of office interiors by artist Lars Tunbjörk. He has a way of highlighting the strangeness of those ubiquitous spaces that I connect with. His influence is also found in our collection film we made, bringing through a little of the feeling of absurdity in the everyday that you find in his work.
Eugénie 51 Mackelvie Street, Ponsonby, Auckland eugenie.co.nz, email@example.com
Far left Eugénie designer Elizabeth Wilson. Left Eugénie's current collection and the store interiors were influenced by a photographic series of office interiors by artist Lars Tunbjörk. In her collection, Elizabeth Wilson focuses on texture, rather than colour, in a palette of office greys.
Above Assemblages of office furniture, flower arrangements and cast concrete are like installations at the store. Below A digitally fabricated Radiolarian and porcelain Accropode sit on top of the iridescent steel-front desk. Below left A showcase of books self-published on site, and a curated selection of local and international new writing and art publishing.
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1 / 'Foliage' chair by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell, $2890 from Backhouse, backhousenz.com 2 / 'Metropolitan' chair by Jeffrey Bernett for B&B Italia, $5990 from Matisse, matisse.co.nz 3 / 'Gray 26' armchair by Paola Navone for Gervasoni, $1700 from ECC, ecc.co.nz 4 / 'Ladle' chair by Luca Nichetto for Arﬂex, $6850 from Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz 5 / '3000 Njord' chair by Scafﬁdi & Johansen for Kusch + Co, $1270 from Backhouse, backhousenz.com 6 / 'Clap' armchair by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell, from $975 from Backhouse, backhousenz.com 7 / 'Jet' chair by Tim Webber, $1700 from Tim Webber Design, timwebberdesign.com 8 / 'Quilt' chair by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Established & Sons, $POA from Simon James, simonjamesdesign.com 9 / 'Ava' chair by Carlos Tiscar for Capdell, from $1160 from UFL Group, uﬂ.co.nz. Edited by Kendyl Middelbeek.
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1 / 'Ladle' chair by Luca Nichetto for Arﬂex, $6850 from Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz 2 / 'Ro' chair by Jaime Hayon for Fritz Hansen, from $5348 from
Cult, cultdesign.co.nz 3 / 'Silverlake' chair by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso, $5667 from Matisse, matisse.co.nz 4 / 'Uncino' chair by Ronan + Erwan Bouroullec for Mattiazzi, $2215 from ECC, ecc.co.nz 5 / 'Nut' lounge chair by Marcel Wanders for Moooi, $2415 from ECC, ecc.co.nz 6 / 'Katrin' chair by Carlo Colombo for Arﬂex, from $7320 from Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz. 7 / 'Collar' chair by Skrivo for Sancal, from $1500 from UFL Group, ufl.co.nz 8 / 'Nub' chair by Patricia Urquiola for Andreu World, from $1320 from UFL Group, ufl.co.nz 9 / 'Batten' armchair by Jamie McLellan for Dialog, $1356 from Backhouse, backhousenz.com 10 / 'Nido' chair by Rafa Garcia for Sancal, from $1815 from UFL Group, ufl.co.nz. Edited by Kendyl Middelbeek.
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1 / 'Swan' chair by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, from $7131 from Cult, cultdesign.co.nz 2 /
'Aro' chair by Carlos Tiscar for Capdell, from $998 from UFL Group, ufl.co.nz 'Fiorenza' armchair by Franco Albini for ArďŹ‚ex, from $6380 from Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz 5 / 'Knot' chair by McGuire, $POA from Cavit and Co, cavitco.com 6 / 'Boston' chair, $6880 from Bo Concept, boconcept.co.nz 7 / 'Ronda' chair by Lievore Altherr Molina for Andreu World, from $1840 from UFL Group, ufl.co.nz 8 / 'Move' armchair by Rossella Pugliatti for Giorgetti, POA from ECC, ecc.co.nz 9 / 'Egg' chair by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, from $3830 from Cult, cultdesign.co.nz 10 / 'Auguste' chair by Jacques Garcia for Baker, $POA from Cavit and Co, cavitco.com. Edited by Kendyl Middelbeek. 3 / 'Dalma' chair by Draga e Aurel for Baxter, $POA from Cavit and Co, cavitco.com 4 /
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HOME + CULT
CHRISTCHURCH STYLE SAFARI
Cult’s chief chooses his ﬁve favourite design objects arriving in stores now. 01.
‘Terho’ lamp by Maija Puoskari for Mater
‘Drop’ chair by Arne Jacobsen
‘Aran’ sofa by Adam Goodrum for Cult
‘CH24’ anniversary limitededition walnut and oak
‘Wrong’ by Sebastian Wrong
In Finnish, ‘Terho’ means ‘acorn’ and the name refers to the natural and sympathetic shapes of acorns found in nature. The special colour of alder wood and the opal made of white mouth-blown glass is a unique combination of glass and wood rarely seen in lamp design. The ‘Terho’ lamp can be used individually or as a combination of different sizes in a small group.
for Republic of Fritz Hansen After more than 50 years in hibernation, the ‘Drop’ is now relaunched! It was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 as part of his masterpiece, the legendary SAS Royal Hotel (now known as Radisson Blu Royal Hotel) in Copenhagen. The ‘Drop’ was originally produced along with the ‘Swan’ and the ‘Egg’, but exclusively for the hotel, and was never put into standard production. In addition to the original design of pliable, upholstered foam, it is now available in a moulded plastic version that is especially relevant for modern interiors.
While we are in the very privileged position of working with some of the world’s leading European furniture brands, we are also extremely keen to encourage local industry. The ‘Aran’ suite, including armchair, two-seater sofa and bed, sets new standards in the elegance of ergonomics. In engineered foam, the back support means not only increased comfort, but ensures the streamlined, clean-lined allure of each of these pieces. Hand-stitched and piped, each piece is perfect from every angle. Timelessly luxurious, they are available in fabric and leather.
by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Son Hans J. Wegner is a towering ﬁgure in the history of Danish furniture design, which he played a key role in bringing to the world stage in the 1950s. On April 2, 2014, Wegner would have turned 100, and Carl Hansen & Son is marking the occasion with a special tribute to the man behind the iconic designs with a limited-edition walnut and oak collection.
for Hay This is a new design venture, a collaboration between Danish design brand Hay and London-based designer Sebastian Wrong. The range debuted at the 2013 London Design Festival with a collection of items from lighting to furniture, textiles and accessories. Both satellite collection and standalone venture, Wrong for Hay is based in London under the designer’s creative direction. He draws on the city’s creative energy, eclecticism and talent to explore new working relationships, products and markets. Good design at accessible prices is central to the venture.
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HOME + MATISSE
CHRISTCHURCH STYLE SAFARI
ALAN BERTENSHAW The Matisse co-founder on his ﬁrm’s latest releases.
‘Esedra’ by Monica Forster for Poltrona Frau
‘Bretagne’ sofa by Poltrona
‘Projecteur 365’ by
‘Traccia’ table by Meret
‘Vanity Fair’ chair
Oppenheim for Cassina’s Simon Collection
by Renzo Fray for Poltrona Frau
Monica Forster was inspired by the large circular forms of woven straw typical of the crafts of Lapland. The ‘Esedra’ pouf is sewn by hand in leather with wide segments slightly overlapping each other to create an outwardly radiating pattern. The overall effect is a sophisticated pattern that seems like an integral part of the leather.
This is an elegant, deep sofa with a high back that can be ﬁlled with an endless array of cushions. Perfect for everything from formal entertaining to an afternoon nap, the ‘Bretagne’ has a ﬂexible modular system that allows you to create supercomfortable areas to exactly suit your lounging needs.
Designed 60 years ago as part of Le Corbusier’s famous Chandigarh projects for the Indian government, ‘Projecteur’ is outsized in scale and ultra-functional in style. With two options in the painted aluminium ﬁnish, it is a timeless piece of industrial Modernism for the home or the workplace.
Meret Oppenheim, the famous French surrealist from the 1930s, created much more than her iconic fur cup and saucer. The ‘Traccia’ table from Cassina’s Simon collection is a delightfully subversive table with polished cast bronze bird’s legs and a plywood top covered in 24 carat gold leaf. Witty, reﬁned and fun, but with depth.
This iconic armchair by Renzo Frau has been in the Poltrona Frau catalogue since 1930. Since then it has become an archetype after which the modern armchair has been patterned. By transcending the 30s look and updating the horsehair, this chair has evolved into a chair for today.
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HOME + ECC 01
The MD of ECC reveals his favourite new design arrivals for spring. 01.
‘Vertigo’ by Constance Guisset for Petite Friture
‘Benson’ by Rodolfo Dordoni
‘Kugel’ by Heike Buchfelder
for Pluma Cubic
‘Sinus’ by Reinhold Adolf and
Hans-Jürgen Schröpfer for Cor
‘Ugolino’ System Circular by Ivan Lolli and Mario Memmoli for Lolli e Memmoli
From our new French supplier Petite Friture, ‘Vertigo’ caught my eye due to its impressive scale and visual lightness. The lightness is thanks to its ﬁbreglass structure and the ribbons that radiate from the centre, making ‘Vertigo’ simultaneously ethereal and graphic. The pendant comes to life swaying in the soft air currents that surround it.
I noticed metallic ﬁnishes featured throughout the collections presented in Milan. Here, Minotti has combined the substance of wood and shine of metal in a low coffee table designed for bedsides, sofas or armchairs. The overlapping elliptical and circular shapes have a clever adjustable hinge so you can position them perfectly. The skillful combination of luxury materials and unique design give Benson its beauty.
The Berlin-based architect creates light ﬁttings from goose quill feathers, this year creating a version of the already successful ‘Kugel’ pendant in grey. The feathers are hand-threaded into a textile shade, creating an almost ﬂower-like structure. I love the luxury of the feathers and bespoke design.
We talk a lot about new designs at ECC, but we also have a great collection of iconic classics. ‘Sinus’ is such a chair – a timeless design from 1976, which has become collectable. It features rocking spring steel skids and unusual upholstery. ‘Sinus’ makes a statement that hefty wingbacks are not necessary to ensure extreme comfort. We have it in store in brown leather upholstery.
This beautiful modern chandelier has been updated in Tanzanite blue, echoing the colour trend that was prominent in Milan this year. Two shades of hand-dyed blue crystals are mixed with clear crystals, combining to produce a soft tone. I saw it hanging in their showroom when I was there in April and bought it straight away.
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HOME + LUXAFLEX
CHRISTCHURCH STYLE SAFARI
The NZWS director shares some details that lift Luxaﬂex shades above ordinary blinds. 01.
Harlow fabrics, Evoke, Polis and Praline
The light fantastic
Seems boring but it really matters
Honeycomb blinds taken a step further
Less is the new more in window shade automation
Honeycomb or cellular blinds are known for their hexagonal construction and the insulating effect of air pockets formed inside. The thing about Architella, Hunter Douglas’ most recent addition to the Luxaﬂex Duette suite, is that it cleverly has another cell within; this makes another two air pockets and improves the insulation effect remarkably. The cleverness doesn’t stop at that: among the many fabrics the shades come in, one has a revolutionary clear inner cell that allows more light through to illuminate the texture and lustre of the outer fabric (IllumaCell).
Luxaﬂex shade automation systems have been redesigned to take out as much as possible. Gone is the need for mains power and an electrician to install the shade. Standard D-cell batteries ﬁt inside the blind’s headrail and power the Luxaﬂex Q-motion system; it’s so power-efﬁcient that the batteries only have to be changed every ﬁve years. The need for a remote control has gone, too. The new Q-motion system has an app that enables you to control your window shades from a tablet or smartphone. A remote is supplied anyway – just in case.
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Crisp micro-geometrics These days you can make a statement about colour and texture with shades; the era when curtains were available in exciting fabrics and blinds were white or cream has gone. Luxaﬂex retailers hold samples of hundreds of fabrics that are continuously updated in line with the latest international trends.
The exciting thing about Silhouette shades is that they’re not really like blinds, deﬁnitely nothing like curtains, but are a very sexy way to treat your windows. Made from spun-bonded polyester (a space-age super-fabric) and with incremental control of the vanes that dictate the blinds’ density, Silhouettes enable you to ‘play with light’ more than perhaps any other shade.
Like the gearbox in your car, the workings inside your rollershades don’t add much to the aesthetic appeal; they just make a huge difference to how the shades perform. Quantum is a new generation of precision hardware developed by Hunter Douglas. Among the system’s many accolades is a Red Dot product design award from this prestigious design institute based in Germany.
HOME + MCKENZIE & WILLIS
The McKenzie & Willis design services manager on the company’s new arrivals. 01.
‘San Diego’ arm chair
‘Forest’ arm chair
‘Masters’ chair by Philippe
by Robby and Francesca Cantarutti for Fast
Starck for Kartell
Starck pays homage to three contemporary design icons and through a fusion of styles creates a “stylistic summation” – the ‘Masters’ chair. Re-interpreted in a space-age key, the ‘Series 7’ by Arne Jacobsen, the ‘Tulip’ armchair by Eero Saarinen and the ‘Eiffel’ chair by Charles and Ray Eames are woven into a most engaging and sinuous hybrid. Standing on four slim legs, the Masters chair is roomy and comfortable. The back of the chair is its most fascinating feature, characterised by the fullnesses and empty spaces created by the curvaceous criss-crossing lines of three different backs which descend to merge into the edge of the seat.
Winner of the 2013 Good Design Award, the ‘Octa’ table by Bonaldo is both unusual and elegant. Designed and produced in Italy, Bonaldo pieces are the perfect mix of creativity, quality and innovation. The ‘Octa’ table can be either ﬁxed or extended, with the rectangular top available in a number of ﬁnishes. The base, where the interest is created, is painted metal formed into eight legs. Design critics have described the characteristics of the table as “order in disorder” and “a ﬁligree pattern” which shows the uniqueness of this piece is open to interpretation.
Recognised internationally as the iconic Bonaldo product, the ‘Big’ table plays an optical game of balances. Your eye is drawn from one element to the next and from one colour to the next. The tilt angle of the legs suggests dynamism, with the table top creating visual stability. The legs are made from laser-cut steel and painted matte in four different colour combinations, or completely in anthracite grey or white. The table top can be ﬁxed or extended and is made from oak, either lacquered or polished in several ﬁnishes. Glass table tops are also an option with a number of treated glass colours. Whether immobile or moving, ‘Big’ really does have an unusual personality.
Belgium outdoor furniture brand Manutti specialises in transposing the concept of indoor living rooms to the outdoors. The elegant lines of the San Diego collection exude timeless appeal while combining water-repellent fabrics and synthetic aged rattan cane designed for outdoor use. The ‘San Diego’ armchair epitomises this elegant and exclusive range. The new version, a part of the 2014/2015 McKenzie & Willis Outdoor Collection, has a curved back designed for optimum comfort. Made for conversations with friends, perfectly paired with a pouf and coffee table ﬁlled with a feast of delicious food, the ‘San Diego’ arm chair adds a touch of class to gardens and terraces all over the world.
Made in Italy, the ‘Forest’ range by Fast boasts a design of great visual impact that offers unquestionable sophistication and individuality without compromising on comfort. Drawing inspiration from the forms of nature and material used, this range is designed for outdoor use but is also at home in an interior context. The arm chair is made from die-cast aluminium, ensuring it will remain rust-free and resistant to the effects of weather. The pleasure of relaxation and comfort for the end user is of the upmost importance and has certainly been achieved in the ﬁnished piece which is a part of the 2014/2015 McKenzie & Willis Outdoor Collection.
‘Octa’ table by Bartoli Design
‘Big’ table by Alain Gilles for
Light Magic A serene visitor centre by Pattersons gives Christchurchâ€™s Botanic Gardens a new heart. TEXT / Lara Strongman PHOTOGRAPHY / Simon Devitt
"It's an organic building," architect Andrew Patterson says. "The beauty of the simple concept allows the complexities to be resolved within it."
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Christchurch is a flat city, its topography made distinctive by the sinuous curves of the Otakaro Avon River, which disrupt the orderly urban grid laid out in the 1840s by European surveyors. In the city centre, Hagley Park, ‘forever’ reserved as public green space by the Provincial Government in 1855, is bounded to the north and east by the river. At the junction of Park Terrace and Rolleston Avenue the river takes a sharp turn to the west and makes an elegant loop through the park before returning to Rolleston Avenue by the hospital. The land inside the loop is effectively an island on three sides, a park within a park: Christchurch Botanic Gardens was established there in 1863. When the new visitor centre designed by Patterson Associates opened earlier this year – delayed by the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 that destroyed more than 75 percent of the central city’s buildings – it marked the gardens’ 150th year. Pattersons' Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre is the most significant public building completed in Christchurch since the earthquakes. It was the result of a design competition run by Christchurch City Council in 2009 – only the competition brief specified a different site, 100 metres to the west. Architect Andrew Patterson took a calculated risk by locating the building in its current position, hard up against the gardens’ boundary with Christ’s College. “Christchurch Botanic Gardens is unusual in that it isn’t a walled garden,” Patterson says. “Instead it’s permeable all the way around, pierced by bridges. Because of the Avon loop, the pathway of the gardens is like a net, or a spider web.” Patterson noted that the ‘net’ was faulted along the Christ’s College boundary, the only one with a walled edge, whereas the others on the garden loop are bounded by the river and railings at Rolleston Avenue. Patterson's solution was to soften this boundary with the new building, while new access ways complete the pathway system and open up a large
Below and right Sculptural panels on the walls and ceiling filter light like the dappled shade of a woodland canopy.
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section of the adjacent riverbank for public access. The Visitors’ Centre is experienced as a series of airy, leafy thresholds, receding into depth.(“Like a big club sandwich on its side,” notes Patterson.) The first stratum of the building includes the public spaces – the shop and café – which look into the semi-public spaces of the second stratum: the library, function room, meeting room, an exhibition area and a large greenhouse and shade house. Mirrored glass at the rear of the greenhouse affords privacy to the final stratum of the complex (staff offices, a lunchroom, a herbarium, a potting shed); the internal boundary of the building is effectively a green one. People sit in the café and look into the greenhouse, which is filled with a dense profusion of subtropical foliage. The public spaces are enlivened by sculptural panels on the walls and ceiling that filter light like the dappled shade of a woodland canopy. Although extraordinarily beautiful to contemplate, the greenhouse is a working space. When I visit, it contains potted plants from the adjacent Cunningham House, the grand old glasshouse that has been closed since the earthquakes. The visitor centre is multifunctional to the 'nth' degree; both useful and beautiful. “It was a complex brief,” says Patterson. “The entire long-term wish list for the gardens had been gathered together into one project. A diversity of uses, which included the shade houses and tractor and fertiliser sheds cheek by jowl with the cafe.” The idea of transpiration informed the design of the internal spaces. “Cells in plants do a lot of organisation. This seemed to be a good metaphor for the building. The building has an external membrane and various internal membranes which control the people and the functions passing through them. It’s an organic building,” Patterson says. “The beauty of the simple concept allows complexities to be resolved within it.” From the outside, Patterson’s building looks like a giant contemporary greenhouse. The sawtooth
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roof, in fact, is from industrial greenhouse design. The building is essentially unpretentious in form – something that resonates, perhaps, with local culture. It was economical to build and refers directly to a rural tradition. But its function as a garden pavilion and exhibition space links it to the whimsical tradition of orangeries and Victorian exhibition greenhouses, in themselves part of the architectural heritage of Christchurch. Patterson’s chosen site places the visitor centre in active dialogue with Cunningham House, which was built in 1923 and is one of my favourite Christchurch buildings. The antipodean, two-storey version of Sir Joseph Paxton’s design for London's Kew gardens is a lush, secret world of subtropical splendour and warmth on a cold winter’s day. The gardens’ staff have just received news that Cunningham House, whose strength was formerly believed only to be at a tiny fraction of the current building code, is actually full of steel and can be reopened. I’m so delighted at this news – we’ve lost far too many of our characterful heritage buildings – that I could weep with joy when Jeremy Hawker, the gardens’ team leader, tells me. A new north-west-facing lawn bounded by the new visitor centre, the river and Cunningham House and punctuated at the margins by ancient leafy trees is the perfect site for summer concerts and picnics. When I worked in the centre of the city I would walk in the gardens daily; now I visit every couple of weeks. For me, as for many Christchurch people, they represent a link to our past that was largely destroyed by the earthquakes and the bulldozers that came in their wake. The venerable trees, including the oak planted in 1863 to establish the gardens, survived the shaking and through the months of continuous violent aftershocks, they provided a place of safety and sanctuary for locals. It’s not easy living amid the grit and dust of post-disaster Christchurch and when I visit, I always come away uplifted, my spirits raised by the beauty of the environment. Patterson’s building gives me very much the same feeling: a serene place suffused with dappled light, air and greenery, not to mention a connectedness to cultural tradition.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens Rolleston Ave, Christchurch 03 941 8999 ccc.govt.nz
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Below The visitor centre looks "like a giant club sandwich on its side", says architect Andrew Patterson.
Right The Visitor Centre's airy library is suffused with natural light. Far right Visitors can look into the large greenhouse as they move about the space.
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This page A reproduction of 'Titirangi Cupboard Door'(circa 1953) by Colin McCahon is surrounded by family mementos. The original painting was gifted by itsÂ subsequent owner, Jacqueline Amoamo, to the Auckland Art Gallery. Left McCahon lived in the bach-like home in Titirangi, Auckland, with his wife Anne and their four children William, Victoria, Catherine and Matthew. The home was restored by architects Graeme Burgess and Rick Pearson in 2005 and is now the McCahon House Museum.
The Return Home
For a weekend, four of Colin McCahon's most memorable works were returned to the home where they were created. TEXT / Jeremy Hansen PHOTOGRAPHY / Jeremy Toth
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 51
Far left Colin McCahon’s 'Fly out From 'Muriwai – it takes Some Looking at' (1973) hangs in the lounge, while the major painting, 'Clouds No. 7' (1975), is in the artist’s bedroom. Left The tiny bedroom the artist shared with his wife Anne. Bottom right The verso of the artist’s 'Dark Landscape' (1965) is seen through the windows of the lounge. Bottom left Milk bottles in a crate in the kitchen. Opposite 'Dark Landscape' rests beside McCahon's gramophone. The windows in the lounge were designed by the artist and said to be inspired by paintings by Dutch Modernist Piet Mondrian.
There is a strange power to the spaces that artists have occupied, the rooms in which they have crated their work. In the early 1950s, Colin McCahon’s paintings had arguably generated more hostility than praise, and he indicated that he felt his creativity had stalled: He was casting about for a way forward in his work. He left the South Island, eventually securing a curatorial job at the Auckland Art Gallery and, according to Peter Simpson’s book Colin McCahon: The Titirangi Years 1953-1959, the artist found a new optimism in the bohemian atmosphere and warm climate of his new environs. McCahon noted in a letter to Charles Brasch that Auckland felt “not mock English or Scottish but becoming NZ & possibly what one would call Paciﬁc”. The McCahons purchased a small bach in Auckland’s bush-clad western hills of Titirangi, and the artist embarked on a transformative period of work which would lay the foundations for the rest of his remarkable career. First, though, he set about ﬁxing up the property, planting a vegetable garden and acquiring a dinghy. After six months he began using the little spare time he had outside his working hours to paint. Simpson notes that McCahon stopped painting the Biblical narrative works that had dominated his earlier oeuvre and focused more intently on landscapes, which he had painted
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since the beginning of his career. Inspired by what he described as the “wildness and freedom of his surroundings”, McCahon began a series of works that rendered French Bay’s kauri trees and the lush, abundant greenery into fractured, abstract, energetic creations that marking a new beginning in his practice. “You may notice the lack of ‘composition’,” McCahon wrote to his friend Ron O’Reilly. “I no longer compose, but let a picture grow from a core – the movement is spiral rather than anything else.” The artist, of course, could never forsee what would eventuate: that some of his works would return, for a brief period, to the house and be sold for sums he would have found surreal. Earlier this year, this is exactly what happened: four important McCahon works spent a weekend at the house before they were auctioned. (The home itself deteriorated in the decades after the McCahons departed, but a 2005 restoration project led by architects Graeme Burgess, Rick Pearson and the McCahon House Trust have made it into one of Auckland’s loveliest cultural assets.) More than 500 people came to see McCahon’s works that weekend, including folk who had known him, his wife Anne and their children when they had lived there. It is only with the beneﬁt of hindsight that we can now appreciate how signiﬁcant the period in the house was for the painter, and how important the
Opposite A reproduction of the original 'Kitchen Mural for the McCahon Home' (circa 1953-1958) dominates the room.
Below McCahon’s 'Black White Landscape' (1959) hangs in the lounge.
Right The laundry area in the home's basement.
works he created there have become in assessing his artistic progress. “The contrast between the environment in which he was born and raised and that he moved to when he purchased the house at French Bay was so massively profound that it affected his work immediately,” says Ben Plumbly, a director at Art + Object auction house, who organised the sale of the works and their weekend at the house. “As the work goes on it becomes more universal and spiritual in concern, but [in Titirangi] it was very much more concerned with environment than at any other time in McCahon’s career.” What would McCahon have made of this event, of the sale of works like ‘Black White Landscape’, painted in 1959, for $125,000? “These things throw me a bit,” he wrote to his dealer, Peter McLeavey, about a signiﬁcant sale later in his career that Jill Trevelyan recounts in her recent biography of McLeavey. “I feel kind of helpless.” In another letter, he wrote that “I’m not painting to sell but to state a message about the land and the people.” According to Plumbly, this message was not lost. In fact, he says taking the works to the house for this short period was a reminder of the struggles of McCahon’s career, a chance to temporarily silence the distracting cacophony created by their monetary value. “When you’re caught up in the market like we
are, sometimes things become so detached from their conception that you forget that they were made by a real person struggling with life and a family and money and all those things we all do from day to day,” Plumbly says. “To take them back to where they were made reminds you of the manual handicraft element of them. The house is all about that, his imprint is writ large there. The paintings, when you get down to them, are dirty old household enamel paint on bits of hardboard that were ﬂoating around, and to put them back in that house reminds you of that. They have this transcendental value that makes them worth far more than their material and monetary value. He had no interest in the market and painting to an audience and you’re reminded of that in the house.”
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From left 'All Circle' stool by Made by Douglas and Bec, $490 from Douglas + Bec, douglasandbec.com; 'Hamilton' chair, $4328 and 'Usine' pendant light, $499, from BoConcept, boconcept.co.nz; foam mattresses, from a selection at Para Rubber, pararubber.co.nz; petanque balls, $15 each from The Vitrine, inthevitrine.com; vintage badminton racquets, stylist's own; 'Drake' rope mat by Sophie Aschauer for Serpent Sea, $498, and 'Box Box 3' boxes by Hay, $81 (set of three), all from Simon James Concept Store, store.simonjamesdesign.com; VEB Haldensleben vase, $180 from Mr Bigglesworthy, mrbigglesworthy.co.nz; 'PlissĂŠ' A3 archive folder by All the Way to Paris for Hay, $102 from Cult, cultdesign.co.nz; 'Tulipani' chair by Roderick Vos for Linteloo, $1385 from ECC, ecc.co.nz. Colour Wall painted in Resene 'Onahau' and large box painted in Resene 'Karry', resene.co.nz.
Peachy keen Fruity design finds with a surreal spring edge. Kendyl Middelbeek & Samantha Totty PHOTOGRAPHY / Toaki Okano
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Opposite page, from left Beer hall table $300, bench, $175, 1920's French potato basket, $160, and French vintage pétanque balls, $15 each, from The Vitrine, inthevitrine. com; spray-painted table tennis bats and ball, stylist's own; pendant lamp by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón for PET Lamp, $853 from Backhouse Interiors, backhousenz.com; striped bath towel by Hay, $81 from Simon James Concept Store, store. simonjamesdesign.com; glasses, $28 each, and carafe, $81, by Scholten & Baijings for Hay from Cult Design, cultdesign.co.nz; dartboard, $195, and bushel brush $270, by Fredericks and Mae from Douglas + Bec, douglasandbec.co.nz; 'DAX' chair by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, $1800 (for a pair) from Mr Bigglesworthy, mrbigglesworthy.co.nz. Colour Wall painted in Resene 'Onahau', resene.co.nz.
This page, from left 'Djinn' chair by Olivier Mourgue, $2250 from Mr Bigglesworthy, mrbigglesworthy.co.nz; tropical print cushion, $129 from BoConcept, boconcept. co.nz; 'Ruby’s Room #10', photograph by Anne Noble, $5000 from Two Rooms Gallery, tworooms.co.nz; 'Untitled' artwork by Kirsten Carlin, $2750 from Melanie Roger Gallery, melanierogergallery. com; 'Hex' ottoman by Incorporated for Lerival, from $690 from Simon James Design, simonjamesdesign.com; ceramic bowl by Kirsten Dryburgh, $25 from Fuzzy Vibes Gallery, fuzzyvibes.com; Hay boxes with lids (set of 5), $121, and 'Grasshopper' standing lamp by Greta M Grossman for Gubi, $1708, all from Cult Design, cultdesign.co.nz. Colour Vertical box painted in Resene 'Blue Chalk' and horizontal box painted in Resene 'Jonquil', resene.co.nz.
These pages, from left Plant pot by Hay, $53 from Cult Design, cultdesign.co.nz; grid panel, stylist's own; 'The Golden Chair' by Nika Zupanc for Moooi, $1565 from ECC, ecc.co.nz; ceramic friezes by Amy Unkovich, $140 from Fuzzy Vibes Gallery, fuzzyvibes.co.nz; 'The Passenger' sofa by Simon James, $4267 from Simon James Design, simonjamesdesign.com; 'Tatou' floor lamp by Patricia Urquiola for Flos, $2370 from ECC, ecc.co.nz; 'Kowtow' cushion, $95 from Douglas + Bec, douglasandbec.com; 'Astruc' by Selina Foote, $3500, and 'Marsy' by Selina Foote, $3200 from Two Rooms Gallery, tworooms.co.nz; 'Drapery' side table by Nathan Young for spHaus, $1560 from Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz; 'Hindu States of Sumeria' sculpture by Tessa Laird, $600 from Melanie Roger Gallery, melanierogergallery.com; brass pineapple by Merchant Archive, $614 from Simon James Concept Store, store. simonjamesdesign.com. Colour Small box painted in Resene 'Kerry' and large box painted Resene 'Jonquil', resene. co.nz.
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See more of HOME online.
Left Architects Nicola and Lance Herbst in the outdoor room of their Auckland home, designed by David Mitchell and Julie Stout in the late 1980s. This page ReďŹ‚ections of plum blossoms in the home's ďŹ sh pond.
Left Nicola Herbst and Kiko the cat in the home's outdoor room, the space the couple gravitate to in the warmer months. Right The home's outdoor room looks over the street while also allowing plenty of privacy. The house has a "ﬁnely crafted personality to the street," Nicola says. "It talks and promises of things happening inside."
When a home regarded as one of the country’s ﬁnest works of architecture goes up for sale, there is always a collective intake of breath. What if it sells to someone who doesn’t understand it, who modiﬁes it horribly or, worse, decides to knock it down? Architects David Mitchell and Julie Stout worried about all these things when, in 2007, they decided to sell the home they had designed almost 20 years earlier in the Auckland inner-city suburb of Freemans Bay. The home has been internationally applauded for its interpretation of lightweight Paciﬁc-style timber architecture, its thoughtful integration of indoor and outdoor living, and its ingenious response to its tight city site. It is also relatively small (just 125 square metres), has just two bedrooms and boasts a host of delightful idiosyncrasies, attributes that the numbskull tyranny of resale value usually can't compute. The home was designed in the full ﬂush of late-80s post-modernism, when buildings that should have known better were sporting fake Roman columns and bright plaster ﬁnishes. Julie and David's design proved it was possible to dispense with this fakery and convey a convincing sense of place without sacriﬁcing any of the fun. “It reinforced a New Zealand
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lineage at a time when architecture was looking more to European classical sources,” Julie says. Julie and David had been renting a central Auckland apartment and hankering to design a home of their own when they purchased the home's site, an overgrown tennis court that was originally part of the property next door. The compact section offered plenty of challenges: it is narrow and slopes steeply towards the street, and an old villa looms uphill, blocking a great deal of afternoon light. Julie’s fascination with Paciﬁc architecture had blossomed during a year working in Fiji, and she and David discussed adapting “the darkness of Paciﬁc houses and the layering and ﬁltering of light” to a New Zealand context (ideas they expressed further this year in their exhibition on New Zealand architecture at the Venice Architecture Biennale). They originally designed an enveloping fale-style roof over what they envisaged as a group of structures underneath, but this roof was later sliced at its sides so it now covers the main spaces of the home, with the bathroom and a spare bedroom making small additions on each side. The couple relished designing their own place. The process, Julie says, “was an obsessive conversation
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 67
This page The plum tree over the ďŹ sh pond was not deliberately planted, but self-seeded in a ponga stump. Nowadays it blossoms spectacularly every spring.
Right The ďŹ sh pond is "a little world of water in the Japanese sense," architect Julie Stout says. The concrete counter-weight allows the door to be easily hoisted. The sculpture is by Denis O'Connor.
"We are very ordered but this house has a quirkiness. It has re-engaged me with the importance of care and humanity and made us think about order and bits that break that order."
This page A lightbox by Jim Speers on the living room wall. Right The artwork on the studio wall is one of a set of ﬁve Intaglio prints by Callum Innes. An Eames lounge chair sits on a blue rug in the living area.
back and forth. At the beginning you have so many possibilities, but you have to winnow them down to the central idea of the house. As an architect, your whole life is about reading and absorbing so many inﬂuences, so having some outlet for that in your own fantasy world is like what you do with clients, but far more uncensored.” The home was mostly designed during a six-month sailing trip around the Paciﬁc in 1988. Its nautical inﬂuences are often cited as a key element in its creation, but Julie says it was never deliberately designed to be boat-like. There is, however, an undeniable efﬁciency in the way the home packs a myriad of experiences into its small frame. There is a beautiful outdoor room at the front for summer living, a ﬁreplace in the living room to gather around in winter, and a wonderful ﬁsh pond featuring a plum tree that blossoms prettily in spring, “a little world of water in the Japanese sense,” Julie says. There were non-Paciﬁc inﬂuences as well: the use of indirect light in Sir John Soane’s early 1800s London house inspired the skylights that spill light down the wall above the ﬁreplace, and the built-in furniture and level changes that delineate different living zones are clearly modernist in their origins. There are delightful surprises everywhere: low
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windows looking onto the garden; a polycarbonate wall in the study; the sound of rain drumming on the corrugated steel roof; a counter-weighted living-room door that lifts away to reveal the ﬁsh pond. The home charms almost every visitor. Nicola says children, the most instinctive architectural critics, are always gripped by an urge to explore. David and Julie decided to sell the home when their circumstances changed. Julie’s elderly mother was moving to Auckland to live with them but their home was too small for three, so they found a site on Auckland’s North Shore and designed a home to accommodate them all. They initially tried to replicate their ﬁrst home but abandoned that for a completely different approach: a striking three-storey concrete building featuring draped polycarbonate sheets like sails and a studio that looks as if its roof has fallen off (the North Shore home was a ﬁnalist in our Home of the Year 2010). Fortunately, the couple who purchased their old house were just as enthusiastic about it. Architects Lance and Nicola Herbst moved to Auckland from Cape Town in the late 1990s and spotted the house one day without knowing anything of its pedigree. “I clocked it straight away,” Nicola recalls. “I said, 'That’s the most beautiful house in Auckland’.”
Hanging above the rectangular window in the dining area is an artwork by Keren Cook. The vase on the window ledge is by Peter Collis and on the wall to its right is a piece by James Robinson. On the opposite wall is a small photograph by Deborah Smith. The dining room table is from Katalog. The lightshade in this photograph is made up of folded pieces of art paper pinned to the beams, devised by Julie and David.
Left A stretched 'kuba' cloth from Africa hangs above the bed in the main bedroom upstairs. Right Lance reads on the bed in the groundďŹ‚oor room that doubles as a studio and spare bedroom. Far right Apart from installing new tiles in the bathroom and a bespoke vanity by Johannes Erren Cabinetmakers, the Herbsts don't feel any other changes to the home are required. A 'ButterďŹ‚y' stool by Sori Yanagi for Vitra sits beneath the cabinetry. For more, see our bathroom design focus on p.132.
A few years later, they were able to visit, and loved what they saw. “It was like sensory overload because it’s so layered and so small, yet so big,” says Lance. “It was overwhelming.” Adds Nicola: ”It talks and promises of things happening inside as well as having such a ﬁnely crafted personality to the street.” At that stage, they never dreamed of owning it. They went on to establish their own award-winning ﬁrm, Herbst Architects (they designed a home in a pohutukawa grove that won our Home of the Year 2012) and rented an apartment for seven years in the Axis Building in Parnell. They decided to search for their own home just as David and Julie’s property came on the market. Almost magically, the house they admired a decade earlier had become their own. For the Herbsts, living in the house is akin to taking part in a daily architectural conversation. While they also work in a lightweight timber idiom, they say they would never have designed the Heke Street House themselves – and they mean that as a compliment. “We are Germany,” Lance says, “and [Julie and David] are Brazil. We are very ordered but this house has a quirkiness. There are some dimensions that we would never do but it’s fascinating living here because none of the rules they have broken are a problem. We don’t have the courage to play these games, and that’s why
we live in this house and get to experience them. It’s re-engaged me with the importance of care and humanity, and made us think about order and bits that break that order.” They regard themselves as custodians of a heritage building, and have made no changes to the house apart from a new custom-made vanity and tiles in the bathroom. The irony is that while Auckland Council’s new district plan proposes blanket protection for all buildings constructed before 1944, a seminal residence like this could easily be demolished. The Herbsts worry not only about how this proposed heritage rule fails to protect their own house, but how difﬁcult it will become for inventive homes like it to be constructed in the inner city in the future. “Architecture’s job is to express the values of a generation, but modern architecture is in the process of being banished from the inner city” Lance says. “We like streets of villas as much as anyone but they don’t have to be the only buildings we value. If Auckland can’t express itself architecturally in innercity suburbs like this, then that’s a terrible thing.” Then let this remarkable home be a lesson: that architectural experimentation can show us new and enriching ways to live, and that good architecture can our cities don't become gentriﬁed fossils, but places that welcome the contributions of every generation.
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/ Outdoor room
02 / Kitchen/Dining 03 /
04 4 / Water garden
05 / Bedroom/Studio
06 / Bathroom 07 / Dressing
08 / Bedroom
Below and bottom Early plans featured a fale-style roof to cover a group of structures, but evolved to a truncated roof with bathroom and studio off either side. The home was built by David's son Julian Mitchell (now an architect at Mitchell & Stout) and Robert Hancock.
08 8 06
DESIGN NOTEBOOK Q&A with architect Julie Stout The house feels effortless. How quickly did it come together? Inspiration can come quickly but architecture takes time. The pond was there from day one (we originally had our bed ﬂoating around on it!) but to then search for clarity and succinctness takes time. That’s the craft. Making architecture is like giving birth to a 10-tonne baby that has to come out fully formed and grown up. Exhausting! With the advent of modern planning laws, could you build this house now? Yes I think we could, but it is more of a battle. These times are far more conservative, embracing the fossilisation of the architecture of inner suburbs. What we were trying to do with this house was build an urban townhouse that stood up to the street and engaged with it – just like houses do in all those lovely towns and villages in the rest of the world. I think it is a great role model for that in Auckland.
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It’s a house you came and went from several times. Did your experience of it change over time? Only in that the house grew and shrank! We would come back from the boat and wonder what on earth was all this space for? ‘You mean I have to walk across the living room to the kitchen?’ Then we’d have a party with heaps of people, eating and dancing – and you’d go ‘Ah yes, that’s right’. It’s a good party house. How did you feel about the prospect of new owners changing it? Anxious of course, but I like to think the very nature of the house self-selects who is attracted to live there. But you never know. The lovely thing is that Nicky and Lance have embraced the house, done all that work that wooden houses demand. The changes they made are completely in keeping and, best of all, they have made it their home. How terriﬁc is that?
HOME + FISHER & PAYKEL
Left The building’s natural light and neutral palette make it a calm and productive workplace.
Below Informal meeting points are dotted around the ofﬁce; whiteboards are a practical touch.
Bottom Part lunchroom, part test lab, the Social Kitchen is the heart of the building.
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE Fisher & Paykel’s new design hothouse encourages innovation and collaboration.
Fisher & Paykel has placed insight-led design at the heart of what it does. How does this new interior support that?
MARK ELMORE, FISHER & PAYKEL HEAD OF
Every aspect was considered to create an environment where our people can explore, innovate and collaborate. At its heart is the Social Kitchen, providing a touchpoint for our designers, engineers and evaluators – they get to use the very products they had a hand in designing and these insights impact how and what we design. The new centre brings together
our diverse functional teams – engineers, designers, evaluators – to work more collaboratively. We believe this will deliver huge beneﬁts in our ﬁnished products.
of natural light, furnishings and colour. We wanted to reﬂect the high-quality materials and insight-led design that are inherent in our product and brand.
What was the building before, and how did you go about turning it into a modern workplace? Formerly an electronics factory, this building presented a large and rather daunting blank canvas: at 5000m2 it is thought to be the biggest single ofﬁce footprint in the country. Fisher & Paykel’s senior team and Custance Associates combined expertise to form the key principles that we knew would work for our people and culture. We needed an agile open plan that was also inviting and inspiring. Practical elements from desk layouts, to project pods, to multi-use whiteboards were considered equally alongside how we maximised some of the softer elements
The company marks 80 years this year and you’ve hired 80 more designers and engineers in Dunedin and Auckland. What is it about New Zealand that makes it such a good place for this? Fisher & Paykel’s design heritage is founded on a pioneering spirit and a culture of curiosity that has long been inherent to the New Zealand way of life. We are recognised as challengers and leaders, and so entrenching our design expertise here is a natural decision. The new centre underlines Fisher & Paykel’s long-term commitment to research and development in New Zealand and enables us to continue to develop world-leading appliances.
Left The Remarkables range is reďŹ‚ected in the kitchen windows. This photo Trees on the hills near the house in Arrowtown.
For years, Justin and Louise Wright – who run Assembly Architects, with a studio in Wellington and one in Queenstown – had visited Queenstown for projects. They’d step off the plane and, as we all do for a moment, look at those mountains and ask: could we, shall we? Then, like the rest of us, they’d go home and put the thought out of their minds. It wasn’t until they departed their Wellington villa with their three children to spend a year working on a series of marae around the central North Island that their thinking changed. “We found we didn’t really want to go back to Wellington,” says Louise. And so they found themselves, ﬁnally, in a subdivision just outside Arrowtown, renting a house that Justin had designed several years before and eyeing up the last remaining site for sale. It’s one of those subdivisions full of large houses, and it has a name and a communal tennis court and a swimming pool reached along a reserve. There is a design code which requires homes to be built with a pitched roof in the cottagey vernacular of Arrowtown, but the couple found there was enough wriggle room to allow a contemporary dwelling. The site also has spectacular views of the Remarkables – a view which now ﬁlls the large windows above their kitchen bench.
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“We instantly loved living in this subdivision," Louise says. "It wasn’t so much that I didn’t think I’d want to live in a suburb but that it was such a different and unexpectedly good place to live, having been in Wellington, then rural King Country. It’s dead ﬂat and an awesome area for the kids. You really feel like you’re in the mountains.” After buying the site in March 2012, the Wrights set about designing a house on a fairly small budget and on something of a deadline: it was built in just 16 weeks and ﬁnished inside a year of the couple purchasing the property. It helped that their builder, James Bennie of Southern Lakes Living Spaces, was also their landlord. Justin and James thrashed out the plan to get the house built, negotiating the end of the building contract to coincide with the end of the Wrights’ rental lease. Intriguingly, they formed the structure of the house around the builder: he had a team of four carpenters and so they designed a simple but high-performing wooden house that would make the most efﬁcient use of his team. Their design placed the house right at the back of the site, as close to the reserve as possible, with a driveway down one side leading to a parking area and the ‘front’ door. They designed a double garage and an attached studio at the front to create a
This page Louise Wright and Sabina in the kitchen with its view of the Remarkables. The kitchen drawers are made from tongue and groove ďŹ‚oorboards with oak veneer. Left Indoors and out, the home and location afford space and freedom for the Wrights' three children, Lido (far left), Sabina (centre) and Lido's twin, Thomasin.
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 81
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The house is a simple form: a master bedroom wing at the eastern end, then three bedrooms and a bathroom at the other end, with a compact, rectangular living space in the middle.
Top left The work between the doors is an arrangement of the perforated steel panels the Wrights designed for buildings at Britomart, Auckland. The Eames 'Shell' chairs surround a table set up for the roof shout that "has never left", says Louise. It is made from an off-cut of birch plywood that the kitchen pantry is made from, and ďŹ xed with Hafele screw-on ofďŹ ce legs.
Far left Louise conceived the marble-tiled bath by converting a Hynds concrete drain raiser into a tub and covering it in marble tiles. Left A utility area just inside the entrance keeps daily essentials tidied away. This page The Remarkables range at sunset.
This page Poured concrete steps lead from the driveway to the 'front' door at the back of the house. Right Justin reads Lido a story in the main bedroom. The 'Folded' side table is by Ed Cruikshank of Arrowtown. The 'Crystal Take' lamp by Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell is from Backhouse. Far right Family portraits ďŹ ll a wall in the living area.
sheltered north-facing courtyard garden in the middle. These last two elements are yet to be built, and the Wrights’ thinking has changed to an extent, partly because their practice has out-grown the space. “Now that the structure of the garden is in place,” says Louise, “we are thinking about the garage and studio as elements within that. Carport as pavilion, studio as greenhouse, storage tucked away in sheds.” The house itself is a simple form: a master bedroom wing at the eastern end, then three bedrooms and a bathroom at the other end, with a compact, rectangular living space in the middle. To keep costs down, the Wrights looked to the habits of group housing builders. The house is built on timber piles rather than a concrete slab – unusual in an area of the country where passive solar gain is the most common way of beating the cold – and uses standard truss systems in the roof, with ﬂat ceilings instead of pitched: a standard 2.4 metres in the bedrooms and a more generous 3 metres in the living areas. Cost aside, this meant they could super-insulate the ﬂoor and ceiling. It’s also airtight and barely needs heating – whatever heat you put in stays inside – so they survived their ﬁrst winter with two small oil column heaters. They deliberately didn’t include the obligatory double garage inside the footprint of the main house, which
Louise describes as akin to having a big open door in the side of the house. “The thermal performance of the house is about being nimble,” she says. “It has a really quick phase change point – it’s easier to heat and easy to cool.” Then, they added special touches: there’s oak ﬂooring in the living areas and a similar oak veneer over the kitchen cabinetry. Door handles throughout the house were custom made by a local engineer and, in the bathroom, instead of a standard shower or a narrow bath, Louise worked out how to convert a Hynds concrete drain riser into the most elegant of showers that also doubles as a bath. It is 1.2 metres in diameter and clad with marble tiles. There are clever touches – accessed from outside by poured concrete steps, the bathroom acts as a sort of mud room on the way back from the tennis court or the reserve, and the laundry is beneath the bathroom sink, eliminating the need for two lots of cabinetry. “It’s a simple carpentry house,” says Louise. “Some of the idea of ‘special’ for us was getting it done quickly and effectively and making it work in a place where you don’t get houses that quickly, and they’re usually complicated with more materials than we’ve used. Part of its specialness, for us, is its simplicity.”
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"It is by far the warmest and most comfortable house we have lived in. It's unbelievable really. On a sunny winter's day we swelter, but the ventilation means the house is never stuffy."
To minimse construction costs, the Wrights looked to techniques used by group home builders.
02 / Master bedroom 03 /
04 4 / Dining
05 / Kitchen
06 / Bedroom 07 / Bedroom
08 / Bathroom & laundry y 09 / Bedroom
DESIGN NOTEBOOK Q&A with Justin and Louise Wright You are still relatively new to the area – what makes it home? JUSTIN WRIGHT We have long felt connected to this place, its landscape in particular and what that provides. We still love it. LOUISE WRIGHT The people and the place and what we get up to here: good mates, neighbours, and clients, a community, knowing the teachers and shopkeepers and business owners in this spectacular seasonal landscape. Our practice, the projects, and our house, garden and mortgage make this place home. In designing the house you consciously looked to the techniques group home builders use in keeping costs down and yet most architects look down on spec builders. Why is that? Does architecture have anything to learn from that industry? JUSTIN In terms of architecture, we don’t see much merit in the group home company’s product. The
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majority don’t respond to their sites, they are poorly planned and look terrible. The group housing companies compete on price – for any architect interested in the ingredients of the most cost-effective ways to construct, look at what group housing companies do. LOUISE We simply started playing with these ingredients. You see this in the cross section of the house; its simple form, standard stud heights, truss roof. JUSTIN Then lots of time reﬁning the detail. Now you've lived here summer and winter, how has the house performed? LOUISE It is by far the warmest and most comfortable house we have lived in. It’s unbelievable really. On a sunny winter’s day we swelter, but the ventilation means it's never stuffy. In summer, the eaves keep the sun out so the house remains cool. JUSTIN It has changed the way we think about construction.
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Middle and bottom Vanity top, integrated sink and cabinet doors in Corian® Architects White. Design by Celia Visser.
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This page A detail of one of the aerial photographs of Los Angeles that decorate the home. Left As well as designing the house, architect Simon Storey built much of its furniture, including the sofa.
This photo Simon Storey's Los Angeles home sits on a slim 4.5 metre-wide site. The garage becomes a workspace when he takes his car out onto the footpath.
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Below Storey and his wife, Jen Holmes, on the home's roof terrace. Up here, "it's like the house doesn't even exist because it's beneath you," Storey says.
Right The glass sculptures are actually an unrealised lighting concept Storey was developing. Above them hang aerial shots of US airports that were purchased online.
From the roof terrace and unofﬁcial fourth ﬂoor of architect Simon Storey’s tall, compact, black stucco-clad home, there’s a 360-degree panorama of the Greater Los Angeles area, taking in the Hollywood sign, the Santa Monica Mountains on the coast, and the soaring San Gabriels in the north, which are currently capped with snow – because apparently it’s winter, even here in southern California. “We’re having a real cold snap,” says Storey, shivering theatrically. “The temperature for the last couple of weeks has been down around 70 or 80 degrees.” (That’s between 21 and 26 degrees, for those working in Celsius). The New Zealand-born architect arrived in the States after completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Auckland 20 years ago. After spending most of the 1990s as a ski bum in Colorado – during which he nonetheless saved enough for graduate school at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (also known as SCI-Arc) – he set up Anonymous Architects nine years ago, the studio of which is right below our feet. Storey calls this house the “Eel’s Nest”, after the narrow urban properties of the same name in Japan. It was his ﬁrst house to be realised off the drawing board and, it turned out, his most challenging. To
begin with, his lot had almost no room to manoeuvre. It was just 15 feet (4.5 metres) across, hemmed in by a concrete stairway on one side and another property on the other. However, it had a price tag half the size of anything else on the market – and then there’s the location. Echo Park, one of the city’s leaﬁer and more walkable neighbourhoods, reminds him of 1980s Ponsonby, he says, with a historically Latino population, and record stores and thrift shops next to bodegas and security-grilled liquor stores. “It was cheap, but even then, on a price-per-square foot basis, it didn’t make much sense,” says Storey. “I’d never had any interest before in building something skinny and tall, but it was my only option, really.” So, what does an architect do with a total area a fraction under 73 square metres, and a construction budget of US$110,000? “My number-one concern was to make it feel like a normal house, as much as possible. And that came down to small details,” says Storey. “I needed to make the front of the house work, which seems like a small task but was actually quite complicated, having to work within the conﬁnes of that 15-foot width. You can’t step outside of that. You’re stuck with a box, and if you want to get creative with that, it’s only going to make it a smaller box.
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"You’re stuck with a box, and if you want to get creative with that, it’s only going to make it a smaller box." The skinny threestorey home's shadow on the sun-baked California street. Storey named his home 'Eel's Nest' after the narrow urban properties of the same name in Japan.
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Left top The lightshades by SS in the kitchen are made from sheets of aluminium cut by water jet, which were then anodised and folded by hand.
Above Experimenting with alternatives to conventional windows, Storey used a regular door instead, which he keeps open in summer and treats as a balcony.
Left In summer, the door to the tiny garden is left open to extend the living space. The kitchen is slightly sunken, which subtly demarcates it from the living area.
Above right The home's internal stairwell runs parallel to the public steps that rise right beside it.
Even the stairwell, which ﬁlters light into the core of the house, is a chunk of space I’ve taken away from it.” The ground level features Storey’s combined garage and workshop – or rather, what becomes his workshop once he’s parked his car outside and opened up the doors. This is where the architect made most of the furniture for the house, including his sofa, coffee table and the speaker stack, which he based on the ramshackle piles of old stereo equipment commonly found in thrift store Hi-ﬁ Corners. “I just do it as a hobby. I love woodworking, if I have time. And it’s just really hard to ﬁnd a good couch, if you’re not willing to spend $10,000. So that was a necessity.” The second ﬂoor contains the living room and kitchen, which opens onto a petite back garden and a single, but very productive, avocado tree. The kitchen is slightly sunken, which subtly demarcates it from the rest of the space. The next ﬂoor up has two rooms and a bathroom. Storey currently uses the room overlooking the street as his architecture studio, and the quiet back room as a bedroom. Its small balcony is the height of the avocado tree canopy, giving him the sense that he sleeps among the branches. And then there’s the roof terrace, planted with three olive trees and droughtresistant shrubs, where he has friends over for drinks and dinner, and watches that spectacular California
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Left Storey runs his company, Anonymous Architects, from his home studio, shown here ďŹ lled with architectural models.
Below Just a block from Sunset Strip, the home is in Echo Park, one of only a few pedestrianfriendly neighbourhoods in Los Angeles.
The second ﬂoor contains the living room and kitchen, which opens onto a petite back garden and a single, but very productive, avocado tree. sun sink below the horizon. “Going up there is like a transformation; it’s like the house itself doesn’t even exist because it’s underneath you,” he says. While necessity originally prompted him to design with such uncompromising verticality, the concept has proved remarkably adaptable. Since he ﬁnished Eel’s Nest, he’s been asked to design others, including one in northern Carolina surrounded by a couple of acres. “The clients want the verticality,” he says. “It also works there because it’s in a forest and each level will have a different aspect. The top has a canopy view. So I’m kind of surprised, but this concept, with a few tweaks, is actually relevant in different locations.”
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While Storey focused on solving the spatial issues of his home in a no-frills way, he didn’t realise until after it was ﬁnished that it offered a different way of living. “I never expected it to be that interesting, actually,” he admits. “It was only after I started living here that I realised 960 square feet is all you need, as long as it’s well thought out and has lots of natural light. It becomes a pretty liberating space to live in, because it’s nothing more than you need.”
Far Left Living at Eel's Nest has surprised Storey as he's realised that a dwelling of modest proportions can be liberating – "it has nothing more than you need". Left The white pine ﬂoors were an unconventional choice due to their softness, but Storey likes the fact that they wear, giving warmth and character to the boxy dimensions. Right The stairwell remains open to the living area to increase the sense of space. The artwork at the foot of the stairs is 'Untitled 12' by Kim Schoen. "It's an amazing series of daylight ﬁreworks," says Storey.
Left Architect Simon Storey studied at the University of Auckland before completing postgraduate qualiﬁcations at California's SCI-Arc.
Second ﬂoor 01
02 / Studio 03 /
04 4 / Bedroom 05 / Living
06 / Dining
07 / Kitchen
08 / Courtyard 09 / Garage
01 04 07 06 6
09 02 05
DESIGN NOTEBOOK Q&A with architect Simon Storey
Most of your buildings, so far, are in Los Angeles. What kind of people do you work for? A lot of my clients end up being fairly young people, actors, people who are artists or work in the arts, like curators, or people in music. In terms of design and architecture, the city has a strong mid-century presence. Is this a factor in your work? One of the things I do is pretty much ignore LA and its inﬂuence. It’s always more interesting to do projects that don’t necessarily reference the past here. If I’ve been inﬂuenced by anything, it’s probably European and Japanese architects, because it would be to easy to design the same kind of buildings that are
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already being built here. I want each of my houses to be very different from the last one. That’s part of the reason for the name, Anonymous Architects. I try to imagine each building as so different that you can’t ﬁnd a thread, you can’t recognise it’s the same architect. You build your own furniture – does working with your hands feed into your practice as well? Yeah, I’m really, really into model making. The physicality of the model will really inﬂuence the design. You discover so many things with a real model as opposed to a digital rendering. I love making models, and people respond to them so well, too. I love the whole process.
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Left and this page Design elements such as the yellow glass irked co-owner Alasdair Hood at ďŹ rst sight. But with time and reďŹ‚ection, they are now among his favourite aspects of the home.
Left Jeannie Hood at the dining room table. The home was originally owned by her grandparents, who moved to New Zealand from Holland in the early 1950s. Right Six-year-old India outside the house. Initially planned as a series of sprawling pavilions, budget constraints and a shift in thinking produced what Alasdair considers a "far more potent design".
On a high shelf in Alasdair and Jeannie Hood's kitchen is an old wine bottle. Almost 40 years old, the empty bottle of Italian Asti Gancia is dated 2.9.77. It was signed by everyone who gathered that evening to celebrate the day Jeannie’s Dutch grandparents, Tony and Mai Van Rooyen, moved into their new home in Rolleston, near Christchurch. Alasdair and Jeannie purchased the home from Tony and Mai in 2008 and live there now with their two daughters, six-year-old India, and four-year-old Milly. Tucked away from Rolleston’s ever-advancing suburbia, the house hides down a long, gravel driveway behind a fortress-like hedge. Its compact footprint rises over two levels under a steep roof and its apparent simplicity belies the network of interesting spaces within. The house was designed by Christchurch architect Ken Pearse in the early 1970s. Pearse had worked for both Warren & Mahoney and Peter Beaven and there is evidence of both their inﬂuences in the house: Warren & Mahoney's trademark material palette of concrete block and timber, and Peter Beaven's intricate approach
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to arranging rooms. There is also, Alasdair says, “a strong Dutch inﬂuence that harks back to Jeannie's grandparents' family home in Holland.” An engineer, Tony Van Rooyen moved to New Zealand with Mai in the early 1950s to work on the construction of dams around the South Island. They lived where work took them until the early 1970s, when they purchased three acres of land at Rolleston. The Norman Kirk government had earmarked the area as ‘a town of the future’ and the Van Rooyens planned to build a house as a series of pavilions scattered across the land. When the Kirk government was displaced, the town development was put on hold and by the time the family began building in 1977, the original plan had morphed into its current design. Budget constraints and changing ideas meant that Pearse redesigned the plan to create what Hood believes is the “far more potent design” that stands today – double-storied, compact, with space devoted to single rooms rather than huge corridors and open-plan areas. Alasdair and Jeannie found the original sketches for the house
This page Concrete stub beams above the ďŹ replace hark back to architect Ken Pearse's time at Warren & Mahoney. Beside them is a chair by Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen; to its right isa credenza by AH McIntosh, with Hamner pottery and a set of vintage skittles sitting on top. The artwork is by Winston Roeth. Right The living room houses a collection of Dutch pottery, which is placed on the brick mantle, and architecture books. The coffee table is Danish teak and the sofas are by Simon James.
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"When we moved in we wanted to take time to sit and watch, to feel the house – how the light played on the walls and ﬂoor, how it served us as a family." This page The steel bunting strung in the trees is by sculptor Hannah Kidd.
Right The kitchen is original except for the new Marmoleum ﬂooring and drawer and door handles, which were replaced out of necessity.
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Opposite page The Hoods established new gardens around the house soon after moving in. The south entrance is sheltered by a glass screen over a tiled, offform concrete seat. Top left The exposed beams and skillion roof in the living room reinforce the verticality found in different elements throughout the house.
Above The garage was built in the same style as the house with a modest workbench and attic storage. Left Strong geometric lines make the southwest elevation one of Alasdair's favourite aspects of the home. The bedrooms emit a soft glow in the early evening.
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on an old piece of heavy paper – “almost a felt pen sketch – a few lines on paper that almost felt like cardboard,” says Alasdair. “Grandpa Tony had his own drainage contracting business after he retired from the dams and they were very good with concrete. This house is full of it and with the addition of cedar window joinery, it’s absolutely indicative of the Christchurch Modern language." From his ﬁrst visit to the house to meet Jeannie’s grandparents in 1999, Hood coveted its “solid bones, its human scale and its incredible sense of home. I’m utterly perplexed by the [large] scale of average family homes today, so this house resonated with me. It was a good size and infused with a sense of family history.” So when the Van Rooyens decided to sell the house, Alasdair and Jeannie were quick to put up their hands. “We didn’t want it to go out of the family; we were determined to ﬁnd a way," Alasdair says. That way came when Jasmax, the architecture ﬁrm where Alasdair is a principal, decided to open a Christchurch ofﬁce. Alasdair and Jeannie took their time to get to know the home. “Living here is a very sensory experience," Alasdair says. "We wanted to take time to sit and watch, to feel the house – how the light played on the walls and ﬂoor, how it served us as a family.” Five years on, they’ve made only minor changes: repainting the exterior and laying new carpet tiles
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and Marmoleum. No structural changes have been made, and the house required only minor earthquake repairs. Alasdair realised early on “just how damn good the house was. Opa used to say, ‘I still see something new here, even after 30 years.” The house has its quirks, of course. “You have to work at living here – it's not the warmest house in the world, and you can’t come home and ﬂick on a heat pump,” Alasdair says. “[But] I like the idea that we have been forced to adapt to the house rather than us adapting it. It would have been so much easier for me to change it, but the house has taught us that it is good just the way it is. It’s absorbed us – it’s gotten under our skin." The family has come to appreciate that the home is not open-plan, closing off rooms according to their needs, and they love the way this brings them together. The main living room has happily embraced two new generations, with Alasdair and Jeannie's possessions adding a new layer to the home's history. Like Jeanne’s grandparents before them, the Hoods signed the Asti Gancia bottle the night they moved it. "We experience an enormous sense of contentment living here," Alasdair says. "For me there is an incredible sense of owning something very precious. As a piece of architecture it is very strong, but decades of family connection make it even more special.”
Far left The family has learned to relish the house's nooks and crannies. Here, Jeannie reads Milly a story in a window nook. Left Downstairs, two bedrooms and a bathroom are found at the end of a short hall. Stairs lead up to two further bedrooms and a mezzanine study.
This page The Hoods have changed nothing structural about the house, simply repainting the exterior and laying brightly coloured new carpet tiles.
"We've been forced to adapt to the house rather than us adapting it. It would have been so much easier for me to change it, but the house has taught us that it is good just the way it is."
Above The home's original ground ﬂoor plan, which was slightly modiﬁed before construction to make the kitchen more open-plan.
DESIGN NOTEBOOK Q&A with Alasdair Hood
You initially visited the house in 1999. What were your ﬁrst impressions? It was incredibly overgrown but Jeannie hadn’t let on what it was like so it was a big surprise. It was Christmas Day so a glass of champagne was thrust into my hand between kisses, hugs and handshakes from people who were virtual strangers. But it sums up what the house has meant to me ever since. Love and hospitality. Opa invited me to his study to look at his dream journals, which was unprecedented. I think he knew I knew the house was something special. The 1970s aren’t always fully appreciated – what are your favourite bits about this place? Our house is a little unusual in its assimilation of the Christchurch style and its more brutal elements with a somewhat decorative bent. Some of my favourite bits are those I liked least on ﬁrst inspection. The yellow glass, turned balusters and eaves on the dormer windows irritated my straight-edged sensibilities.
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But time and reﬂection has changed all that. What did I like immediately? The off-form concrete stub beams in the lounge. Any house that forces you to think twice before you stand up deserves respect! Do you plan to make any changes in the future? The only signiﬁcant addition we’ve considered is a courtyard off the dining area to the east. Lazy weekend breakfasts are good family time so something that facilitates that feels in keeping with the spirit of the house. We’d extend the language of the nor’west elevation and form a courtyard with block columns, off-the-form concrete and planting to soften. Can you ever see yourself moving from here? It’s highly unlikely. We bought for the long term. Jeannie and I see ourselves as custodians of something special. We’ll maintain it, make improvements and pass it on to the next generation. Hopefully they’ll see it the same way.
KITCHEN DAY Our day of expert kitchen brieﬁngs. PHOTOGRAPHY / Sarah Grace
For 50 HOME readers, July 18 marked a full immersion in all aspects of kitchen design. Our inaugural Kitchen Day took our guests to design presentations at the inviting Auckland showroom of the day’s sponsors, Blum, where the Blum team shared their wisdom with planning and hardware. Kate Rogan and Eva Nash of Rogan Nash Architects gave insights into a range of their recent kitchen work, before out tour took in visits to DeLonghi’s showroom – where guests tasted panna cotta whipped up right before them – to Matisse for a viewing
of the latest Arclinea kitchens, and to Kouzina for a brieﬁng on the newest design developments with Corian®. Last, we visited kitchen designer Morgan Cronin’s own home, where he talked through his design methodology. In between, guests were treated to a delicious lunch at Mekong Baby. Everyone ﬁnished the day full of kitchen design inspiration. HOME’s inaugural Kitchen Day gave our 50 guests exclusive brieﬁngs on the latest kitchen design developments and new products.
Left Jeremy Rotherham and Julia Gatley outside the home Jeremy's father, Bruce Rotherham, designed in 1950-51. This page A detail of the 'Adam and Eve' tile work in the home's 1970s circular bath tub.
Until January this year, my partner Jeremy Rotherham and I were happily living in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden. One day, out of the blue, we were ﬂooded with emails and texts advising us that the Rotherham House at Stanley Bay on the North Shore was up for sale. The Rotherham House was designed and built in 1950-1951 by Bruce Rotherham (1926-2004), a key member of Group Architects. Friends alerted us to the sale because Bruce was Jeremy’s father, and Jeremy lived in the house on and off until he was 14. I had connections to it too, having written about Group Architects. “Shall we buy it?” I asked Jeremy. “I think we should,” he replied. And we did, taking possession at Easter with the intention of living in it and making nothing but minor changes. Group Architects are remembered for their 1946 claim that “overseas solutions will not do. New Zealand must have its own architecture, its own sense of what is beautiful and appropriate to our climate and conditions.” Thus they reintroduced the gabled roofs of 19th-century shacks, shelters and Maori whare into mid 20th-century New Zealand architecture, and they often worked in timber, exposing posts, beams and rafters, and using pine boards for linings and sarkings. They wanted to design affordable houses
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for ordinary New Zealand families. This meant efﬁcient planning and usage of materials, with minimum-sized building elements at maximum spacings from one to the next. Beyond the Group’s interests, Bruce Rotherham interpreted architecture as “space (for the enhancement of human activity) formed by building”. By this he meant space formed by building materials. The Rotherham House exempliﬁes this approach. It largely comprises one main space or volume, double-height with all timbers exposed and a brick stair column leading to a cellar below and a mezzanine bedroom or sleeping loft above. The mezzanine famously has no balustrades or handrails, just a ﬂoor upturned at the sides to prevent people walking or falling off the edge. Below it, ﬂagstone ﬂoors are smooth on the north entry side of the house and increasingly rough or textured on the south side, where a full wall of glass ensures an abundance of natural light to the studio space. Rotherham initially designed the house as a bachelor pad in which he could design buildings and even a typeface, paint, make sculpture and play chess. He also played music and made space inside the stairwell for the installation of a pipe organ. While building the house, Rotherham met and married Elizabeth Milne and they soon had two children, Ann and Jeremy.
Left A wall of glass on the south side of the home brings natural light into the studio space. This page From top to bottom â€“ from mezzanine to cellar â€“ Jeremy found the house to be full of potential for inquisitive children. The stone and timber surfaces were ideal for scooting around on and the bricks for racing toy cars against. The mezzanine has no handrails, but an upward slope that prevents people and curious cats from toppling over the edge.
Group Architects are remembered for their 1946 claim that "overseas solutions will not do. New Zealand must have its own architecture, its own sense of what is beautiful and appropriate to our climate and conditions."
The home's exposed posts, beams and the generous use of timber are signature elements of the work of Group Architects, who aimed to design affordable houses for ordinary New Zealand families. The wooden armchair by the fireplace was designed by Bruce Rotherham in 1951. Jeremy built it, following Bruceâ€™s drawings, for inclusion in the Group Architects exhibition that Julia curated in 2010.
This page The doubleheight studio area lends itself to gallery-like displays of art, some of which is by people who have lived in or visited the house. Two of the paintings were left behind by the Fetzer family – the black and white ink-etched ﬁgure (centre left) and the cottage (bottom, far right). The painting (bottom left) is by Keith Patterson, who lived in the house in the 1950s and 60s with his wife Cristina. Hanging to the left of the collection is a piece by Susan Goldberg, who was a visitor at the house. The sculpture on top of the drawing cabinet is by Jacob Walker and is inspired by the Athﬁeld house in Wellington. Right Julia plays with Tuppence, the cat. Far right The mezzanine covers the living area, creating an intimate space in contrast to the double-height volumes on either side.
Rotherham adapted the design from bachelor pad to family home, adding two small bedrooms in a lean-to on the east side of the house. He also added a draughting studio to the west of the house, a small building which the family knew as ‘the bach’. The Rotherhams spent the mid-to-late 1950s in London, but the marriage did not last and in 1958, Elizabeth returned to Auckland with the children. Finances were tight for a single parent and they lived in the bach in order that the house could generate income. Elizabeth tended to rent it to friends, mostly bohemian artists. They included Keith and Cristina Patterson in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and then Marie McMahon, whose tenancy was marred by tragedy. Her lover Leon Lesnie died, falling from the mezzanine at 4.30 one morning in 1962. McMahon’s estranged husband had accosted the pair unexpectedly, in search of evidence of her adultery to support his application for divorce. This sad incident coincided with Elizabeth’s marriage to Jack Lasenby, a school teacher and later a well-known writer. The family moved back into the house, living there until 1968. Jeremy remembers his childhood home as a great place to play: “As children, we would scoot around the house on tricycles, across stone and timber surfaces. I also liked match-box cars
and the mortars between adjacent stones made great roads for them.” Ann played tricks on people, sending them downstairs to see the cellar and then turning off the light, plunging them into complete darkness and waiting for the screams. Jeremy also enjoyed the mezzanine. People assume the design is dangerous because of Leon Lesnie's death, but Jeremy always considered it completely safe because he would try to walk up it, but the slope would send him back down to the mezzanine ﬂoor every time. The family cats liked it too, peering over the edge to the ﬂoor below. Jeremy’s mother sold the house in 1968 and the family moved to Parnell. The purchaser, Marie Fetzer, knew the house from having lived in the bach. Her ownership remains apparent in the fabric of the house. In the late 1970s she remarried and replaced the original children’s bedrooms with a bigger lean-to comprising a more conventional second bedroom and an extravagantly sized new bathroom. She was a generous owner, allowing generations of architects and architecture students to visit over the years. She lived in the house until her death in 2006. Thus, when her three children put it up for auction, it was only its second time on the market. After 46 years, Jeremy is delighted to be back in the house. Living in it surpasses my expectation,
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This page Upstairs in the mezzanine, the wooden shutter provides ventilation while limiting direct sunlight. The drawing above it is by Clare Kim, produced when she was a ďŹ nalyear student at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. Opposite page The bathroom, added in the late 1970s by the second owner, Marie Fetzer, was an early project by architect Geoff Richards.
This page The home was originally designed as a bachelor pad, with the mezzanine containing a sleeping loft. Right As children, Jeremy's sister Ann played tricks on visitors, sending them down to the cellar and turning the lights off, plunging them into darkness. Far right The mezzanine is famously free from conventional hand rails or balustrades.
"I had not anticipated the quality of the light in the mezzanine, particularly the illumination of timbers by the rising sun."
too. I had not anticipated the quality of light in the mezzanine, particularly the illumination of timbers by the rising sun. I love the most uneven of the stones on the studio ďŹ‚oor, and the most irregular of the bricks around the outside of the stair column. I was nervous when our cat started playing on the mezzanine edge, but I have stopped worrying, knowing that Tuppence's behaviour is in the tradition of former feline occupants.
It is, of course, a summer house and, having made extensive use of the wood burner during winter, we now look forward to our ďŹ rst summer in it together, to the indoor-outdoor living afforded by four pairs of double doors and to the various beaches just a short walk away.
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Below The ﬂoor plan in the centre is from 1953, when the kids' rooms were added. To its right is the 1978 ﬂoor plan.
/ Sleeping loft
02 / Storage 03 /
04 4 / Kitchen 05 / Dining
06 / Children's play area 07 / Living
08 / Studio
09 / Bathroom
/ Laundry / Bedroom 12 / Bedroom 13 / Dressing room 14 / Bedroom 15 / Bathroom 10 11
Ground ﬂoor (1953)
Ground ﬂoor (1978)
03 04 04
12 0 01 07 0 7
09 10 10
15 08 08
DESIGN NOTEBOOK Q&A with Jeremy Rotherham and Julia Gatley What was it like to grow up in the house? JEREMY ROTHERHAM It was always an exciting house. To a child, it was so big, and there was plenty of space to run around in. It attracted lots of interesting people, particularly artists and writers and they would bring their children when they visited. People have always enjoyed the house. And having grown up in it, I feel comfortable in houses with open spaces rather than those with corridors and distinct rooms. How did the family feel when it was sold? JEREMY ROTHERHAM I was shocked and devastated by it. My mother knew I didn’t want to leave the house, so she didn’t tell me she was selling until it was all signed off. Julia, you’ve gone from writing about the house to living in it. Does that change your experience of it? JULIA GATLEY It’s the details that
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I notice and think about, like ﬂecks of paint on the studio ﬂoor, which I like because it tells of inhabitation by a series of artists. There is such variety in the shape, colour and texture of individual bricks and stones – I’m enjoying getting to know them all. What makes this important piece of modernist history home? JEREMY ROTHERHAM It’s just a wonderful place to live. It feels very free and unconstrained. JULIA GATLEY There’s a sense of coming full circle as we brought Bruce Rotherham’s archive of books, drawings, paintings and correspondence back here from London. How much responsibility do you feel for the house? JULIA GATLEY It was a Category B building on the old district plan and is a proposed Category A on Auckland’s forthcoming unitary plan, but in some ways this is irrelevant to us because we enjoy the house as is and don’t want to change it anyway.
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To design an intimate and romantic environment
SHELTER FROM THE NORM Cave-like qualities deﬁne a bathroom at a striking oceanside property.
Your ﬁrst diagrams for this house consisted of “a bed and a ﬁre and a cave to ﬁt them in”. How does the bathroom ﬁt with that program? DAVOR POPADICH We wanted the bed and bath to look directly onto the rocky ocean outcrop, sheltered in the cave. The rest of the house has sweeping views, yet this room is hunkered against the rock wall – how did you include the view? A narrow glass opening leads onto the spa terrace and provides the view and light to the bathroom. The bath itself, basin and WC behind are positioned in such a way to allow for an outlook.
You’ve long worked with stacked stone walls. What is it about them that appeals? We strive to make our buildings connected to their local environment and economy by using as many locally sourced products and craftspeople as possible. The stone requires a lot of effort to be laid but its beauty, richness of texture and the stonemason’s pride are well worth the effort.
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Photography / Simon Devitt
This house is all about the experience – it’s a retreat rather than a home and it’s about enjoying nature, the sea and its raging storms. How does the bathroom manifest that? It builds upon this experience while providing a greater degree of privacy and intimacy. The cave-like environment adds to the feeling of shelter, yet the light and view allow connection with the outdoors.
Bath Bofﬁ Tapware Bofﬁ spout Rock wall Built by Brayden Sullivan with stone from the property's quarry Floors Local bluestone tiles and concrete Artwork The piece above the bath is 'Solstice Lei I' by Emily Sidell.
Wright family house
Butel Park, Arrowtown
To create a high-capacity bathroom and laundry
ENDURING EDGE Assembly Architects marry practicality with custom design.
This might be the family bathroom but it’s still special. How did you achieve that? LOUISE WRIGHT It is a simple, spacious and practical room. Most things play a dual function – the bath is also the shower, the shower curtain shields the toilet, the bathroom is also the laundry. The shape and form of the bath is interesting – we like the geometry of the circle in the room – and the monochromatic materials are really textured, but simple. The ﬂoor and bath are all tiled in the same material, a rumbled Carrara marble.
The connection to the outdoors is a nice touch – how does this work in practice? The family bathroom is also the laundry and a sort of back door and mud room. The doors open out to the reserve and to our side yard – the clothesline, the compost. The glazed doors are partially obscured for privacy, but we can still see out to the mountains and sky. The view is to the peaks in the west and the sunset.
Photography / Simon Devitt
Showers over baths are notorious for getting water everywhere. Is this one better? The curtain falls from the ceiling to the base of the shower, which is much larger than a regular bath. With the curtain wrapped around it creates a lovely space – the light is softly diffused and it is private, quite a contrast to a tile and glass shower. Not a drop of water gets out. On the other hand, when it is used as a bath with six kids in there... Bath Converted concrete drain raiser Tiles ﬂoor and bath in rumbled Carrara marble from Penguin Ceramics, bath top in honed Carrara marble from Che Stile Showerhead Progetto 'Flow' rainhead from Edward Gibbon Plumbing Plus Lighting 'Metro' LED ceiling light and 'Plan' LED recessed wall lights from Lighting Plus Wall cladding and paint Shadowclad groove in 'Quarter Merino' Spacecote by Resene Curtain rail Custom MacTrac Pro powdercoated curtain track Shower curtain by Catherine David Design.
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 133
A STEP IN TIME A renovation that honours a home's design pedigree The bathroom is the only room you’ve changed – why did you pick this one? LANCE HERBST The Butynol roof over the bathroom wore out and developed a slow leak. To repair it we had to remove the entire ceiling, parts of the wall lining and parts of the ﬂoor, so we took the opportunity to renovate the room.
Tiles Bisazza glass mosaics in white Tapware Cox by Paini Cabinetry Tawa vanity and veneer boards by Johannes Erren Cabinetmakers with a Corian top Mirror Custom made with silvering sandblasted off the back where the strip lights are ﬁxed Lighting Concealed strip lighting under the vanity Flooring The original particleboard was deteriorating and has been replaced with ply overlaid with cork Stool 'Butterﬂy' stool by Sori Yanagi for Vitra.
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Photography / Simon Devitt
How much did you incorporate Mitchell & Stout's original design? We didn’t change that much. The bath and stainless steel shower base are original and unchanged and the position of the vanity, toilet and bidet are also the same. The language of materials was isolated to the bathroom itself and didn’t appear anywhere else in the house – brightly coloured vinyl on the ﬂoor and brightly coloured melamine to the vanity, bath surround and medicine cabinet as well as bright blue wall tiles in the shower. So we decided to bring the bathroom into line with the rest of the house – vanity and wall-hung cupboards made of tawa veneer, the ﬂoor in cork, which is very similar in appearance to the particleboard ﬂooring found in the rest of the house. We then introduced a white mosaic on the walls and bath surround, which is in keeping with the white painted walls and ceiling of the original bathroom.
Heke Street House
Freemans Bay, Auckland
To sensitively update a 1980s bathroom
Scrubby Bay farmhouse
Design in keeping with the timeless setting
VIEW TO THRILL A bathroom engages with its ocean outlook. The property is a contemporary interpretation of a classic New Zealand farmhouse. How did that affect your design of the bathroom? DAVOR POPADICH We wanted the experience to be authentic and genuine. The gable form extends into the bathroom as well as the macrocarpa timber lining and ﬂooring. It's not huge and the ﬁttings aren't showy. How did you make the space feel special? Ample natural light and the home’s volume and materiality add to the overall experience, as well as the ability to open the sliding door for the view and fresh air. Big timber shutters allow for privacy and intimacy when needed.
Bath, tapware and mirror All by Bofﬁ Cabinetry Macrocarpa crafted by Alsop Joinery Flooring Oak and local bluestone tiles
Photography / Simon Devitt
How different is it designing bathrooms in a house that is intended only for occasional occupancy? No different. Bathrooms can and should be beautiful and practical regardless of frequency of use, size, budget and location.
HOME NEW ZEALAND / 135
Te Kohanga House
Incorporate comfort and adventure into design
SENSE OF DRAMA A contained room can still embrace its sea views. Te Kohanga is a house that offers both an amazing view and a sense of containment because of its exposed position. How did you incorporate these elements into the bathroom? WENDY SHACKLOCK Both bathrooms in the house are 4.5 metres long, with one end (the shower) all glass looking out to the view, and sliding door access to the outside – it’s great if you’ve had a swim
at the bottom of the cliff. The rooms offer both containment and connection. They have been ﬁnished to enhance the unique experience of the house as a whole – they have the same folded cedar ceiling, for instance. The ﬂoor and walls are in honed stone tiles – they subtly pick up tones from the site but have a very sophisticated, luxurious ﬁnish. There is a moodiness, almost a darkness here – how did you balance practical concerns with that sense of drama? The lighting can be moody or it can be functional – I really dislike brightly lit bathrooms when I’m getting ready for bed. The daylight is very good and the mirrors angle to allow light to your face.
Bath Villeroy & Boch Tapware Vola Sink and toilet Duravit Tiles Floor and walls in honed stoned from European Ceramics; white mosaics surround the bath Lighting All from Inlite Ceiling cedar Cabinetry American Oak and Trendstone.
Photography / Samuel Hartnett
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style safari PRESENT
A day of design store tours and expert brieďŹ ngs guided by HOME editor Jeremy Hansen
CHRISTCHURCH FRIDAY OCTOBER 17
$75 Thanks to ASB Private Banking
HOME’s Style Safari is coming to Christchurch! Our Style Safari is an exclusive day-long set of store visits and brieﬁngs on the latest design trends guided by HOME editor Jeremy Hansen. The day commences at 9.30am and includes brieﬁngs at Christchurch’s most important design stores, ﬁnishing around 5pm. Lunch is included. It’s the perfect day for anyone planning a building project or renovation. Numbers on the Style Safari are limited to 50, so reserve your tickets now.
HOW TO BOOK Book your tickets online at eventopia.co/ stylesafarichristchurch. Each ticket costs $75 and includes lunch and our all-day Style Safari experience. For information, contact Ashleigh Webb, 09 308 2850 or email@example.com
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING Dajiang Tai of Cheshire Architects loves a home by his ﬁrm's founder. “I drove past Auckland's Congreve house [designed by Pip Cheshire, 1987-1992] when I was still a student at university. I stopped on the reserve and stared at it for half an hour – it is one of those houses that you can sense is extraordinary just by standing outside. I loved the blockwork, the curves, the vaulted roofs. I knew I had to work for the person who designed this house. The ﬁrst time I went inside, I felt tiny. There were surprises everywhere – warm sunlight from the skylight, heavy steel handles, walls stopping
short with a glimpse of the garden beyond. I remember there was a tall, skinny, steel-framed glass door which looked heavy but felt like a feather. I love houses that are honest in the way that the exterior and interior speak to each other, so you are transported to a fully immersive environment. When the material is in its raw state you can read the craftsmanship – it brings a richness. The Congreve house is muscular with a gentle heart, desaturated in colour but full of complexity when the light strikes. A true masterpiece.”
PHOTOGRAPHY / David Straight
146 / HOME NEW ZEALAND
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