De­sign notebook

HOME Magazine NZ - - This Is A Secluded Spot That Locals Simply Call ‘t - Q&A with Ger­rad Hall of Ger­rad Hall Ar­chi­tects

How did the con­ver­sa­tion about the homage to farm build­ings evolve? My clients were in­ter­ested in break­ing the pro­gram into sev­eral build­ings and in­ves­ti­gat­ing dif­fer­ent themes in each. I could see the po­ten­tial of al­low­ing quite a large range of ar­chi­tec­tural, spa­tial and de­tail in­ves­ti­ga­tions with­out them over­lap­ping into a pas­tiche. This may have been a risk had they all been un­der the same roof. There was also the op­por­tu­nity for quite a rich re­la­tion­ship with the site and the step­ping con­tour, which al­lowed the spa­ces between the build­ings to be cre­ated with their own special char­ac­ter.

Once the main struc­tures were built you handed over the in­te­ri­ors to the clients. How did that feel? Gen­er­ally, not be­ing on site at all dur­ing con­struc­tion can get me pretty anx­ious. I don’t do a high vol­ume of work and I want each project to be as good as it can be. I feel like that only hap­pens when the ar­chi­tect is en­gaged dur­ing the con­struc­tion and work­ing with the own­ers over this pe­riod. How­ever, in this case, my clients were plan­ning on a long con­struc­tion pe­riod, and do­ing quite a bit them­selves. I had al­ready worked closely with them on a ma­jor project and knew they had a good grasp of de­tail. Be­cause of this, along with hav­ing ini­ti­ated many of the project themes, I was con­fi­dent they would do a great job, and they have.

The screen on the out­side of the main house is su­per-af­ford­able, yet one of the most dis­tinc­tive fea­tures. What was your think­ing there? It may be a lit­tle de­ceiv­ing in its hap­haz­ard­ness. The tim­ber screen is un­wanted off-cuts in ran­dom sizes. The skill level in fix­ing it ap­peals as some­thing close to rus­tic hut, but the struc­ture hold­ing it up is rig­or­ous and ro­bust. I wanted the main en­velop­ing struc­ture to read as a tim­ber-slat­ted hay barn, per­haps even mak­ing its con­struc­tion and his­tory am­bigu­ous.

This is a house that seems to want to hun­ker in its sur­rounds rather than be a tro­phy build­ing for the neigh­bours to ad­mire. How much did this de­sire for pri­vacy af­fect your de­sign? The site is re­ally a bit of se­cret val­ley, you can’t see the house from any other houses. Given the pro­gramme was a re­treat from the city, this seemed an ul­ti­mate sit­u­a­tion. Metropoli­tan life is so gov­erned by seg­mented space, time and mu­tual vis­i­bil­i­ties. Here, none of that need ap­ply. Lit­er­ally break­ing the pro­gramme of the spa­ces into mul­ti­ple build­ings in the land­scape re­sponds to that free­dom, as well as chal­lenges what pri­vacy out­side the con­fines of the city can mean.

12 11 10 14 15 7 13 14 Ground floor

7 3 6 4 8 2 1 5 4 9 First floor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.