De­sign note­book

Q&A with Tim Lovell (pic­tured with Ana O’Con­nell) of Lo’CA Ar­chi­tects

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How can good de­sign min­imise the im­pact of Welling­ton’s no­to­ri­ous winds? Shel­ter is the key. The idea is that there will al­ways be a cov­ered out­door space to es­cape to. In a storm, the in­door spa­ces are de­signed to feel con­nected to the sur­round­ing land­scape. Slid­ing doors are good for sites with high winds since they don’t slam, and the amount of open­ing can be finely con­trolled. Hunker­ing bed­rooms into more shel­tered, well-in­su­lated, quiet ar­eas en­sures a peace­ful sleep even in a strong storm. What was your best de­sign de­ci­sion with this house? The asym­met­ric an­gled roof and ceil­ing. It’s sim­ple, sculp­tural and play­ful and fol­lows the an­gle of the hill on which it’s sited. How does good de­sign com­ple­ment rather than dis­tract from the spec­tac­u­lar view? A space is there to fa­cil­i­tate a con­nec­tion with the sur­round­ing land­scape. We have the lux­ury in New Zealand of hav­ing the prob­lem of how to man­age of­ten jaw-drop­pingly spec­tac­u­lar views.

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