I’ll start with an apology. You might have picked up that we went through a very large renovation on our little house in Beach Haven last year. It’s fair to say I went on about it a bit. Okay, I went on about it a lot. But there’s something about renovating that takes over your life. The trials, the tribulations, the joys and small victories. You talk to people at a party and quickly launch into a five-minute speech on the way your decking timber runs across the deck and then up the balustrade. Their eyes glaze over, they start to look around the room, and – just as you stand there showing grainy shots of the half-built roof on your phone – they back very slowly away. And you shout: Come for a beer when it’s finished! The consuming nature of renovating is, in part, due to the fact that it’s so frightfully expensive. Per square metre, it can cost more than building a new house, which takes some getting used to. The enormity of the money you’re spending hits about week three; quite naturally, you invest a lot of time in getting it right. More particularly, it’s because renovating is so bloody satisfying. There’s a joy in taking something broken or dysfunctional and making it better; into something designed just for you. The end result is both new and old, familiar yet strange. In this issue, we’ve dedicated 32 pages to renovations in all their glory: seven projects by great architects with seven brave owners who turned their homes inside out and back to front to create something special. At the same time, we’re also celebrating the end of summer which – in that peculiar New Zealand way – most of us spend at home rather than away. As I write this, I’m just back from the beach. The car is still packed with camping gear and the best of the weather is ahead of us. Thank goodness for that new deck.
We’d love you to join us at two very special events in early February with Mel Bright, our international judge for Home of the Year 2018, which is brought to you in association with Altherm Window Systems.
Bright is one of Australia’s best young architects: based in Melbourne, she has unique experience with tight, inner-city sites, often with heritage overlays. Her responses are bold yet delicate, respectful of the urban fabric that surrounds them, while finding new ways to occupy complex sites.
Bright will speak in Wellington on February 13 and Auckland on February 15 – see p.30 for details. We’d love to see you there.
Top right Ken Crosson opts for clever simplicity in a Coromandel family home (p.98). Top left A villa renovation by Rogan Nash triumphs in Grey Lynn, Auckland (p.54). Above right A new home by Bonnifait+ Giesen forms around an old one (p.76). Above...