Eva Nash has always had a fascination with houses. As a child she’d spend hours building models and drawing up plans.
‘‘Architecture is all I ever considered doing. I’ve always loved it so for me work isn’t a chore,’’ she says.
‘‘I really believe the environment you live in can change how you see the world and whether you wake up happy.’’
Altering things like the height of the ceiling or adding colour, textures and bringing more light in can make all the difference, she says.
The 35-year-old worked at Architecture Smith and Scully as well as Bossley Architects for several years before starting Rogan Nash Architects with fellow architect Kate Rogan in 2012.
The Sandringham resident also appeared as a presenter on the TVNZ reality television show Our First Home.
Being filmed for television was a little nerve-racking at first, she says.
‘‘But it came naturally because this is what I do every day; there just happened to be a camera watching me.’’
Nash counts winning a New Zealand Institute of Architects residential design award for designing her mother’s home in Mt Maunganui as a career highlight.
Working in New York for a year was another great experience.
‘‘Space is a premium in New York so instead of having lots of space they spend a lot of money on a small space and everything is very finely designed.’’
From there she moved to Dubai, working on residences for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
She completed a Masters Degree in residential sustainability a few years ago. During her study she designed an off-the-grid house.
‘‘It was a wonderful opportunity to work on a house which was not only aesthetically beautiful but also used natural materials.’’
It’s about working with what the client is comfortable with, she says.
‘‘If you can make a small change by putting in insulation and dealing with ventilation it will not only make your house more environmentally friendly, it will also be warmer and reduce your electricity bill.’’
Communication is key to projects running smoothly, Nash says.
‘‘I’m on site a couple of times a week. There are always problems that come up but I love the challenge of working through issues with the builders.’’
Being good at multi-tasking
is also important, she says.
‘‘One minute you’re designing and you’re in quite a creative place; the next minute you’re detailing construction which is very technical.
‘‘Then you’re dealing with council or contractors or you’re thinking about what’s happening on site.’’
The best bit is when people appreciate the home you’ve created for them, Nash says.
‘‘It’s so lovely to come back at the end of a project and see people enjoying the house and their children having a better connection to the outdoors.’’