De­sign notebook

HOME Magazine NZ - - Moving Mountains - Q&A with Louise Wright of As­sem­bly Ar­chi­tects

Your first job was to work out what was pos­si­ble on the site – how did the brief evolve?

The district plan en­abled in­creased unit den­sity on the site, so in the first in­stance the clients were keen to max­imise the unit ca­pa­bil­ity. How­ever, the as­so­ci­ated park­ing re­quire­ments couldn’t be met on the site with­out re­sult­ing in big com­pro­mises – in the end, qual­ity won over quan­tity.

There’s not a lot of sun. How did you re­spond?

There’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween sum­mer and win­ter sun in Queen­stown. We po­si­tioned rooflights above each stair­well to cast light down the full three sto­ries – even on a dull day the ex­tra day­light helps, and in full sun it’s de­light­ful. The north­ern-most apart­ment ob­vi­ously has bet­ter sun, but both houses are equal in their views.

It’s down­town but it’s a hol­i­day house. How did that af­fect re­quire­ments?

Room for toys and clean up is the dif­fer­ence. The sin­gle garage is used for bikes and sports equip­ment in­stead of cars, and the ad­ja­cent mud room-dry­ing-room-laun­dry is the con­ve­nient wash room, as well as func­tion­ing as the sec­ond bath­room.

What’s it like pass­ing your de­sign on to an in­te­rior ar­chi­tect?

We have a proven his­tory work­ing with Nikki and we know her de­sign sen­si­bil­ity, so hand­ing over was done with trust.

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