De­sign note­book

HOME Magazine NZ - - Design Notebook - Q&A with Ema Scott

Your fa­ther cre­ated a home that feels in­ti­mate and calm. How did he do that?

Although hum­ble, our home also has an un­der­stated sense of el­e­gance, poise – peace­ful­ness even. It has noth­ing to do with the ex­pen­sive this or that, or the plush­ness of that fab­ric, or the glam­our of that other thing. The in­ti­macy and calm­ness peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence here be­lies the artistry of the ar­chi­tec­ture, the ma­te­ri­als used, the as­pect of the prop­erty, the huge trees that sur­round us, the prox­im­ity to the beach and the river, the mauri of the prop­erty, the fact that our fam­ily has been here for five gen­er­a­tions... A book could be writ­ten about it.

You spent many hours in dis­cus­sion with John about the de­sign for this house – that must be spe­cial time, in hind­sight?

We wit­nessed our fa­ther work­ing all hours of the day and night. The silent soli­tude that can ex­tend and ex­pand time in the wee small hours he would oc­cupy work­ing. Our home was just one of over 300 struc­tures he de­signed in his life­time, but ours was to be his last (so you might be able to feel how for­tu­nate we feel). We wit­nessed the care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion that went into ev­ery de­tail. His plans were edited, re­fined, honed and pared down to the es­sen­tial.

Do you feel a sense of con­nec­tion to him through the house?

Art and ar­chi­tec­ture cre­ate a bridge to the creator – and our home feels like that bridge. Ev­ery day we are in­tu­itively in­formed, chal­lenged and in­trigued. Some­times we are in awe but al­ways we are in pro­found grat­i­tude to live in this home he de­signed for us. So yes, our home will al­ways con­nect us to him. Homes are like that, aren’t they, whether they have been ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed by your dad or not?

How has your home af­fected you over the years?

The most pro­found way is that from liv­ing within a sculp­ture, I have be­come a sculp­tor of stone. The process is akin to what I ob­served my fa­ther do­ing – shap­ing, hon­ing down to the es­sen­tial, tak­ing into ac­count light, line, form, shape, feel and pur­pose. I have dis­cov­ered an art form that al­lows me to ac­cess a deep sense of con­nec­tion.

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