EDI­TOR’S LET­TER

HOME Magazine NZ - - Editor’s Letter - Jeremy Hansen

Some­times we get so fo­cused on lim­i­ta­tions that we for­get to en­gage our imag­i­na­tions. The great plea­sure of the rich va­ri­ety of homes in this is­sue, how­ever, is that none of their ar­chi­tects suf­fered from this when cre­at­ing them; all of them have bro­ken with con­ven­tion in in­spir­ing ways. Welling­ton’s Zavos Cor­ner Apart­ments by Par­son­son Ar­chi­tects (p.134), for ex­am­ple, shows how higher-den­sity build­ings can, de­spite pop­u­lar be­lief, be sen­si­tively in­serted into char­ac­ter sub­urbs. An­drea Bell and An­drew Kis­sell’s city-fringe abode (p.92) proves that, with good de­sign, we can hap­pily cre­ate homes in semi-in­dus­trial ar­eas, kids and all. An­thony Hoete’s Vil­lame­ter (p.120) en­dured a 10-year re­source con­sent process, only to show how com­fort­ably con­tem­po­rary ar­chi­tec­ture can sit in a her­itage neigh­bour­hood. So many res­i­dents of our cities seem to fear change in our built en­vi­ron­ment; we hope th­ese projects show that when good ar­chi­tects are in­volved, change won’t di­min­ish a neigh­bour­hood, but en­hance it. Our 21st Home of the Year win­ner, of course, didn’t have to deal with th­ese ur­ban pres­sures. But this res­o­lute, rus­tic build­ing in a val­ley on the Coro­man­del Penin­sula by Herbst Ar­chi­tects (p.76) is the prod­uct of a dif­fer­ent sort of strug­gle be­hind the scenes, in which ar­chi­tects Lance and Ni­cola Herbst wres­tled with their own pre­con­cep­tions of what the build­ing should be. The Herb­sts’ best-known build­ings un­til now have been dif­fuse (and beau­ti­ful) tim­ber baches. They made a con­scious de­ci­sion to break that mould with this year’s win­ning home, an assertive sculp­tural form that is a thrilling ad­di­tion to the lo­cal land­scape – and just as de­light­ful for its own­ers. It’s in­spir­ing to see this tal­ented duo – and all the ar­chi­tects and home­own­ers in this is­sue – have the courage to step off the ex­pected path, en­gage their imag­i­na­tions and take bold cre­ative leaps.

We’re cel­e­brat­ing the 21st an­niver­sary of our Home of the Year award with this is­sue, which seems like a good time to of­fer a short re­fresher on how it all works (you can see a gallery of all our pre­vi­ous win­ners and fi­nal­ists on p.160). Our open en­try process be­gan in De­cem­ber, when we called for en­tries and our jury mem­bers ex­am­ined them to choose a short­list of homes to visit in per­son. This year’s jury was made up of me, Welling­ton ar­chi­tect Stu­art Gar­dyne of Ar­chi­tec­ture +, and Seat­tle­based ar­chi­tect Tom Kundig, who trav­elled here in late Jan­uary to visit the short­listed homes with us. All six projects pub­lished in this is­sue are fi­nal­ists in the supreme award. This year we’ve also in­tro­duced new sub-cat­e­gories to en­sure we con­tinue to at­tract a wide range of en­tries in the com­pe­ti­tion: best small home, best city home and best multi-unit res­i­den­tial project. Lance and Ni­cola Herbst, the ar­chi­tects of 2016’s supreme win­ner, re­ceive a cash prize of $15,000. On be­half of our award spon­sors, Altherm Win­dow Sys­tems, I’d like to ex­tend our warm congratulations to them.

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Top left The Home of the Year 2016, de­signed by Herbst Ar­chi­tects, p.76. Pho­to­graph by Pa­trick Reynolds. Top right The Zavos Cor­ner Apart­ments by Par­son­son Ar­chi­tects, p.134. Pho­to­graph by Jeff Brass. Above left An­drea Bell and An­drew Kis­sell’s Auck­land home, p.92. Pho­to­graph by Si­mon De­vitt. Above right The Vil­lame­ter by An­thony Hoete, p.120. Pho­to­graph by Pa­trick Reynolds.

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