Ed­i­tor’s let­ter

HOME Magazine NZ - - Editor’s Letter - —Si­mon Far­rell-Green I’m de­lighted to an­nounce that en­tries are now open for our an­nual De­sign Awards, which are again gen­er­ously sup­ported by Fisher & Paykel. We’re look­ing for the coun­try’s best new fur­ni­ture – any­thing de­signed for the home and availab

To all the ar­chi­tects and home­own­ers fea­tured in this is­sue: how did you do it? We are into week eight of our ren­o­va­tion: the scaf­fold­ing is still up and there are holes in walls all over the house. The 1970s Pizza Hut para­pet came off in a day and re­vealed, at long last, the orig­i­nal but­ter­fly roofline of the house that I al­ways knew was there. Then the weath­er­boards came off, too, be­cause they were shot and, well, if you’re in for a penny, et cetera. By the time we’re done we will have left the peg­board ceil­ing (orig­i­nal 1950s fea­ture!), the floor, a cou­ple of Gib walls and three win­dows, which prob­a­bly should have gone, too. Each day, I talk to the ar­chi­tect, talk to the builder, talk to the win­dow fab­ri­ca­tor, talk to the builder, and then go back to the ar­chi­tect. And then I go and talk to the bank. Hope­fully, it’s worth it. But it has given me a whole new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the process it takes to make the won­der­ful houses we fea­ture each is­sue. It has re­minded me that ar­chi­tec­ture has to have an in­ter­nal logic that makes in­tu­itive sense or noth­ing hangs to­gether. But that’s an idea: the ex­e­cu­tion can be ship­wrecked so eas­ily on the reefs of coun­cil con­sent or con­trac­tors who don’t un­der­stand what you’re try­ing to do. It has made me re­alise, also, how small projects are any­thing but eas­ier: in fact they’re prob­a­bly more in­tense be­cause of the scale. There are fewer de­tails to master, but they are that much more im­por­tant. As with our cover house, a crisp lit­tle cabin by James War­ren of Upoko Ar­chi­tects: a six-by-six-by-six cube that oc­cu­pies a tiny clear­ing in the bush. The moves are few, but per­fectly and de­light­fully re­vealed, and you can hear the dis­tant roar of the sea. So en­joy this is­sue – eight small, bril­liantly made houses around the coun­try. And then think of me, fret­ting about flash­ings.

Top right Two clever so­lu­tions are reached on a split site in Welling­ton (p.128). A cabin by James War­ren in a nikau grove on the Pu­nakaiki coast (p.76). Above right Above left Mitchell Coll of Coll Ar­chi­tec­ture slots two homes onto a 300-square-me­tre site in Christchurch (p.108). Tobin Smith’s Christchurch home is loosely mod­elled on a 19th­cen­tury cot­tage (p.86).

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