The Dominion Post

At home in wild Wairarapa

In another of our occasional profiles on architects, finds out what makes Victoria Read tick.

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ARCHITECT Victoria Read’s practice is based in Wairarapa and she started with small alteration­s 19 years ago and now works mostly on new homes, wineries and hospitalit­y work.

Credo in architectu­ral terms: I like architectu­re that responds to the contextual situation. I try and design houses which are uniquely Wairarapa in nature and respond to our climate and landscape. I try and sneak in as much sustainabi­lity as I can to every design and am finding that over time my clients are prioritisi­ng sustainabi­lity more and more. It is really important to me that my clients get a home that responds directly to their individual circumstan­ces, both in site and lifestyle. Materials: As far as materialit­y goes I like to use natural materials, timber, concrete, stone. I like big airy rooms mixed with spaces you can tuck away in on a cold winter evening. New Zealanders seem to be naturally outdoorsy and I like to have a strong connection to the outside spaces. In the Wairarapa we have ferocious winds so I try and include a windless courtyard in every design.

Hallmarks your work: I grew up on a hill country farm near the coastline in Martinboro­ugh and have a strong connection to the land. I think it is this that informs most of my work. My practice is based in a small country town and many of my clients are in the rural area. The landscapes of the Wairarapa are stunning and so familiar to me that my response to this is at a subconscio­us level. There is so much to work with in the Wairarapa, from the Martinboro­ugh vineyards to the wide, slow moving Ruamahanga River and dry hills that form a backdrop to our small towns. Style of working: I like to talk with the clients and discover what they enjoy lifestyle wise as well as stylistica­lly. You learn a lot from clients by visiting them at home, meeting the family and forming a deeper understand­ing of how they like to live. I often share pictures and ideas with clients on Pinterest which is such a great tool for collating images. One of the best client meetings I had was on horseback where the client and I rode around Martinboro­ugh for a couple of hours discussing architectu­re and ideas.

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 ??  ?? Stony Bay Lodge on the Wairarapa’s coastal Tora Walk was one of Victoria Read’s favourite projects to work on.
Photos: GEOFF WALKER
Stony Bay Lodge on the Wairarapa’s coastal Tora Walk was one of Victoria Read’s favourite projects to work on. Photos: GEOFF WALKER
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