De­sign note­book

Q&A with ar­chi­tects Steven Lloyd and Aaron Pater­son

HOME Magazine NZ - - Design Notebook -

How did you make sense of the flat field? AARON PATER­SON The site meant the house could have dom­i­nated the land­scape. To pre­vent this we cre­ated a clus­ter of build­ings to break down the mass and give the house a vil­lage-like in­ti­macy around court­yards and a board­walk that al­low con­nec­tions to the land­scape.

STEVEN LLOYD The re­sponse was to lift it off and above the water plane and es­tab­lish or­gan­is­ing prin­ci­ples around the idea of clus­ter and in­ti­macy. This al­lowed us to set up for the long vis­ual, cir­cu­la­tory and spa­tial axis through and across the build­ing into the ex­pan­sive field.

How did the own­ers de­sire for a classic gable drive the pro­ject? Within a AP set ar­chi­tec­tural lan­guage, we took the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore the el­e­ments of ar­chi­tec­ture and ex­tend the lan­guage of the gable through a process of ab­strac­tion. The 45-de­gree roof cre­ates a fa­mil­iar but strik­ing sil­hou­ette with a for­got­ten sym­bol­ism. The gable in­te­rior has a high ridge and low eave that cre­ates dra­matic ver­ti­cal pas­sages with a thresh­old mo­ment be­tween the ex­pan­sive sun­lit land­scape and darkness in­side. The gable makes a shad­owy space and dap­pled ephemeral light pos­si­ble.

SL It gave us a strong archetype to play with and in­ter­ro­gate, in is­sues of scale, pro­por­tion, pitch, façade, rhythm – with boards and pu­rity of shape with the sin­gle material ex­pres­sion of weath­er­board.

The house is built from tim­ber, con­crete and steel. How did you make it re­fined with­out be­ing slick? The re­sult is AP the an­tithe­sis of a slick white seam­less mod­ernism. You can feel how this house is put to­gether. In all ar­eas of con­struc­tion, max­i­mum ef­fort was made to achieve un­der­stated ef­fort­less­ness. Tim­ber was used in a crafted, al­most ar­chaic way, where subtle vari­a­tions of a ver­nac­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture cre­ate a novel aes­thetic ex­pres­sion by ex­plor­ing the tec­tonic and weath­er­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties of raw tim­ber and con­crete, and the qual­i­ties of light on these sur­faces. The re­fined in­no­va­tions in joint­ing and connection would be im­pos­si­ble with the stan­dard sys­tems that most houses are built with.

SL The de­tail­ing is crafted and ex­pres­sive of the material prop­er­ties. The art in any de­sign is find­ing the right tim­bre, chord or pitch. This house is quiet in talk­ing about a lot of things.

Was hous­ing the own­ers’ art collection part of the brief? SL Yes. We were aware of some of the big­ger art pieces and sought to find spa­ces for them.

AP The gen­er­ous vol­ume of the house means that the collection never feels clut­tered. Pas­sages are over­sized to give con­tem­pla­tion space around art­works and fur­ni­ture.

1. En­trance 2. Gar­den court­yard 3. Garage 4. Guest house 5. Laun­dry 6. Scullery 7. Kitchen 8. Din­ing 9. Board­walk 10. Lounge 11. Main bed­room 12. Walk-in wardrobe 13. Bath­room 14. Study 15. Liv­ing area 16. Bed­room 9 5 6 7 8 10 4 2 1 9 3 12 11 16 16 15 14 13 13 13 9

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