More outtakes

More outtakes from our current issue: this time, the house on Great Barrier Island designed by Paul Clarke of Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects. The photographs are by Simon Devitt.

This one shows the house's open-air (but covered) corridor. On the left is a storage cupboard, a small laundry alcove, and a toilet. The bedrooms are on the right, with the main living area at the end of the corridor. The open-air corridor may make for a slightly chilly trip to the bathroom in winter, but Paul believes that it's important to remain connected to the elements at a holiday home, something the owners heartily agree with.

This arresting view looks along the home's eastern flank, showing its cedar exoskeleton.

Here's a view of it in its bush-clad setting, in a field a little back from Medlands Beach. This is like the view you get of the house when you approach - it's an intriguing object from the driveway, with its monopitch roof pointing optimistically skywards.

Paul Clarke wished we had included this shot in our layout, so I've put it here for him. He likes the way the home's exoskeleton mimics the verticality of the trees.

And this is another view through the home's deck and living area.

TV3's Sunrise focuses on architecture

TV3's Sunrise has recently been featuring a series of great homes that have previously been seen in HOME New Zealand. We see it as another opportunity to tell people about the importance of using a good architect when creating a home, whether it be a new home or an alteration. You can see the footage for their feature on artist Michael Shepherd's home and studio, designed by Stevens Lawson Architects, at this link:


A lot of people are very interested in the house by Amanda Yates that features on our cover. The beauty of this blog is that it allows us the luxury of featuring extra images of it. Amanda's aim with the project was to reference early Maori earthern architecture, dwellings that were actually part of the land, and you can see here how the house on the Coromandel Pensinsula follows the contours of the land.

The way the home's interior slope meets the rock face outside is immaculately detailed, as you can see in this image (all the photographs are by Paul McCredie):

One of the great things about the house is the way the mood of the slope changes through the day under different lighting conditions.
Outside, the home's roofline also follows the slope. Upstairs is a self-contained studio used by Amanda and her partner when they visit her parents, who live there full-time.
Roy from SGA Architects requested a context shot in our layout that showed the home in its location. Here is one that shows a wider view of it on its site:

We're back

We end this long and embarrassing silence (blogging seems so easy to start with then suddenly, it becomes difficult to think of things to say ... then you're out of the habit) with an announcement of a recent innovation: from our December/January issue onwards, we are publishing special (and hopefully collectable) subscriber-only covers.

This is the newsstand cover for our next issue, a photograph by Paul McCredie of a house on the Coromandel Peninsula designed by Amanda Yates:

And this is our subscriber-only cover, another photograph by Paul of the same house.

You'll see that we have the luxury of being a little more pure with our subscriber cover. We are no longer subject to the tyranny of the barcode, and are under less pressure to include lots of coverlines to shout from the newsstand. Hopefully it's an object that will sit more serenely on your coffee table or beside the bed.

The villa

A little self-promotion here, but those of you who are interested in architecture may also be interested in the book Villa, which I worked on with Patrick Reynolds and Jeremy Salmond. In it, we've celebrated the adaptability and diversity of occupation of this uniquely New Zealand building form, visiting, photographing and writing about 20 villas from Dunedin to Hokianga. All the homes have been photographed by Patrick, who came up with the idea for the book after renovating his own villa, which is featured on our October/November cover. Here's the book cover if you're interested in looking out for it. The book is published by Random House, and I've vowed never to do another one at the same time as my full-time job.


It's outtakes time again - this time we've selected extra shots of the house designed by Ken Crosson and Carolyn Gundy of Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects on the Kaipara Harbour that features in our October/November 2009 issue. It's never possible to show every aspect of a house without a magazine layout feeling repetitious - what we hope to convey is a sense of the essence of a house, and also to make our readers feel as if they've had a good look around. This house is big and made of many complex parts, so I think it's useful for us to show a few extra of Patrick Reynolds' images here.

This one shows the exterior as you arrive at the home and look towards the harbour. On this elevation of the house, the copper walls are windowless and impassive, lined with nikau palms.

Here's a view of the home's main living pavilion, sheltered from westerly winds by the hills behind.

In contrast to the huge volume of the main living area - which Ken likens to the inside of an upturned galleon - the bedrooms have lower ceilings and are more intimate, cosy spaces, although still lined in the same ply as the rest of the home. The headboard is made from macrocarpa and was designed by the architects.

This particularly good-looking shot - which it gave us great pains to leave out of our magazine layout - is a view from the deck outside the living pavilion, looking north to the master bedroom suite.

Thursdays at L'affare

A reminder to all you Wellingtonians that the eminent architect and raconteur Roger Walker will be giving a talk tomorrow night (Thursday October 8) at 6pm at Caffe L'affare. Entry is free and so are the drinks. Come and join us for what will be a fascinating and entertaining talk. There's more information on the website of the Architectural Centre, the nice folk who helped us put this event on: Hope to see you tomorrow! And thanks to Caffe L'affare for hosting us.

Our new cover

Here's our latest cover, shot by Patrick Reynolds at his own house (a villa extension designed by Malcolm Walker) using his daughters, Rainer and Rosza, as models. Keep it in the family, we say. A few readers have found it unusual that we've used people on the cover, but it's something we try and do where it seems appropriate, and where the shot works. This time we borrowed dresses from Sera Lilly for the girls because we thought they would suit the issue's Fashion + Architecture theme. If we do feature people, they're always the architects or the owners of a home - using models always seems weird.

More fashion and architecture

More fashion and architecture collaborations, this time between Miuccia Prada and OMA's Rem Koolhaas, who designed 'The Transformer', a temporary performance and exhibition space in Seoul. I keep accidentally calling it the Hadron collider, because it looks as it it's about to do something atomic.

Koolhaas, of course, also designed Prada's New York and Los Angeles stores. There's more about the Transformer on Wallpaper's site, at this link:

Fashion and architecture and the great buildings they produce

Thinking about fashion and architecture, as we do in our latest issue, brought to mind the number of great buildings produced by the melding of these two creative disciplines. A personal favourite is SANAA's Dior store on Omotesando in Tokyo, an ethereal creation that looks as beautiful by night as it does by day.

One of the nicest things about this building is its scale. In the west, we tend to think of great architects designing tall buildings or museums or other such monoliths, yet Omotesando in particular is full of smaller creations by great architects, little architectural jewel boxes whose small scale makes them all the more magical.

Shigeru Ban

In Auckland last week, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban gave a talk to a capacity crowd in the Auckland Town Hall. Ban is best-known for his work using cardboard tubes as a building material in everything from refugee shelters to glamorous Expo pavilions, but one of my favourite pieces he showed was his 'Curtain Wall house' in Tokyo, which replaces the architectural version of a curtain wall with, quite literally, curtains. It's witty but also extremely beautiful.

Currently under construction: the much weirder outpost of the Pompidou Centre in Metz, France, scheduled for completion later this year.

Fashion and architecture

You may or may not care, but this week is Fashion Week, so here at ACP headquarters (the home of Fashion Quarterly, and other fashion-obsessed magazines) there has been a great kerfuffle about who's scored tickets to which designer's show, and so on.

Here at HOME New Zealand, we cannot claim to be above the fray. In our next issue, which we're just sending to the printers today (and will be on sale Monday October 5), we've asked 11 New Zealand fashion designers to choose their favourite buildings.

Kate Sylvester (shown below) chose a home designed by Stevens Lawson Architects that won our Home of the Year award in 2007. The photograph is by Mark Smith.

The surprising thing was how many of the other designers - who include Karen Walker, Trelise Cooper, Beth Ellery and Alexandra Owen - chose historic buildings as their favourites. We presumed that these of-the-moment designers would be obsessed with contemporary structures. Then we wondered if timelessness actually stems from a design being of its time, rather than trying to stand apart from it.

You can check out the other designers' choices when our October November issue comes out. We hope you enjoy them.

Little and often

I apologise for having broken one of the cardinal rules of blogging: to communicate little and often, ideally in easily digestible daily chunks. It's also important to have something to say, and today we do: we have two talks coming up (presented in association with Wellington's Architectural Centre) at Caffe L'affare in Wellington that y'all are invited to.

Tomorrow night (Thursday September 10 at 6pm) architect Sharon Jansen of Tennent + Brown Architects will be giving a talk about two homes she's recently completed (one of which one a NZ Institute of Architects National Award for Architecture) and some she's designing at the moment. Entry to the talk is free (as are the drinks), just email to register. Here's Sharon:

And here's Turn Point Lodge, the house she designed in the Marlborough Sounds:

And this one's the house in Leigh. All photographs by Paul McCredie.

On Thursday October 8 (same time, same place) Roger Walker will be talking about some of his latest work. You can register for his talk at the same email address.

And here's one of the townhouse projects Roger has been working on:

More outtakes

The house by Stevens Lawson Architects on Hawkes Bay's Te Mata Peak that is one of our Home of the Year finalists looks great from every angle, so it's good to have the blog to show you some more of Mark Smith's photographs of it. Here it is from the hill below, showing the northerly elevations of the three staggered, shed-like forms:

The home's central form is punctured by an interior courtyard that brings light deep into the heart of the house. This shot shows the courtyard on the left and the home's more formal lounge on the right, which itself opens onto a sheltered west-facing deck.

This is one of the owners' favourite shots of the house, showing it perched elegantly on its promontory with the hills of Hawkes Bay fading into the distance behind it.

Each of the home's three shed-like forms is connected with long, lower-ceilinged 'gallery' spaces. This photograph shows the connection of one such gallery space with the kitchen and living room. The sculpture outside is by Paul Dibble.

And this view from outside shows more of the Dibble sculpture, as well as the deck opening off the kitchen. The landscape design is by Philip Smith of O2 landscapes.

Meet the Architects

Over the next few weeks we're hosting a series of evenings in Auckland and Wellington offering our readers the chance to come and meet the architects in our Home of the Year issue, and see them present some more of their work. The first talk is tomorrow night in Auckland, with another in Wellington on Thursday evening.

Here are the details. Entry is free - just register by emailing the address below. Architects get 5CPD points.

Tuesday August 18, 6pm
David Mitchell & Julie Stout
Mitchell & Stout Architects
Team McMillan BMW
7 Great South Road, Newmarket
With three appearances in the Home of the Year finals, Julie Stout and David Mitchell discuss their unique approach to creating unforgettable houses

Tuesday August 25, 6.30pm
Andrea Bell
Bossley Architects
Jerry Clayton BMW
445 Lake Road, Takapuna
With two homes in the Home of the Year finals in consecutive years, Andrea Bell reveals the secrets behind her innovative, beautifully crafted designs

Tuesday September 1, 6pm
Nicholas Stevens & Gary Lawson
Stevens Lawson Architects
Team McMillan BMW
7 Great South Road, Newmarket
The creators of a series of unforgettable sculptural homes reveal some of their other plans in development and discuss their ideas of what makes a great home

Tuesday September 8, 6.30pm
Michael O’Sullivan
Bull O’Sullivan Architecture
Jerry Clayton BMW
445 Lake Road, Takapuna
The designer and builder of his own ingenious family home in Mangere Bridge talks about the joys and challenges of doing it himself

Thursday August 20, 6.30pm
Gerald Parsonson
Parsonson Architects
Jeff Gray BMW
138 Hutt Road, Kaiwharawhara
After designing three baches in the Home of the Year competition, Gerald Parsonson discusses his approach to creating uniquely New Zealand homes

Please register by emailing the names and email addresses of each person attending to

Please note that by registering you are giving your consent to receive promotional offers from BMW. If you don’t wish to receive such offers, please say so in your email.

The outtakes

One of the hardest parts about laying out house shoots is showing as much of the house as possible without the layouts getting repetitive. The good thing about having a blog is that we can show you some of Patrick Reynolds' amazing shots of the 2009 Home of the Year by Mitchell & Stout Architects that didn't make it into the final layout. This is one of the first views you get of the house from the bottom of the driveway -- it's a wonderfully intriguing object on the hill, inviting exploration:

The house faces the ocean, looking back towards Rangitoto and Auckland City:
Upstairs, little nest-like guest bedrooms are sheltered behind the cedar screens, which rest on gas struts and can be opened and closed with a long pole:

Below these, the master bedroom features an egg-yolk coloured ceiling specified by the architects, and a window that slides right back to allow access to the garden:

Patrick was a little disappointed that we didn't include his detail shots, so here are a couple. They're great, but we just couldn't squeeze them in. This one features the rear of the home, where the verandah roof points dramatically up the hill:

And this one shows a meeting of materials: the exterior cedar, the rusted window hood, and the bright yellow interior windowsill of the master bedroom:

There are plenty more shots where these came from. We'll post more of each of the finalist homes in the coming weeks. I'm on leave now until August 17, but will resume posting after that.

Home of the Year 2009

It's official - the 2009 Home of the Year is the Waiheke Island house by Mitchell & Stout Architects. Here it is on the cover of our new issue, on sale from August 6. We'll post some outtakes from the shoot at a later date as well.

Congratulations to David Mitchell, Julie Stout and their team, and thanks to our awards partner BMW for making it all possible:

Home of the Year on Campbell Live

TV3's Campbell Live revealed the finalists in the Home of the Year on their show last night, and they all looked terrific.
You can view the footage at the link below, and also participate in the viewers' choice vote (and go in the draw to win one of five HOME New Zealand subscriptions). I should remind everyone that the judges' decision has already been made - but we'll be interested to see if we're in tune with the Campbell Live voters.

On the waterfront

The latest Architecture New Zealand magazine contains an editorial and subsequent story by editor John Walsh on Auckland's plans (or surfeit of them) for Queen's Wharf. I live not far from the red gates of the wharf that inhibit public access to one of the city's best spaces - and now live in fear of the "development" of the wharf quickly turning into another classic Auckland planning fiasco. As John points out in his editorial, the rush to turn the wharf into party central before the World Cup kicks off could very easily lead to the kind of rushed and foolish planning decisions the city will regret for generations afterwards.

So, plenty to discuss. Which, to their credit, Auckland Regional Holdings (the wharf's new owners) are doing, at least with the visit later this month of Rita Justesen, chief planner for Copenhagen City & Port Development. Justesen will be taking part in a talk on Monday 17 August. Given that every city down on its planning luck seems to be looking to Copenhagen for inspiration these days, it could be well worth attending. Here are the details:

VIP Room, Viaduct Harbour Marine Village, 135 Halsey Street.
Monday 17 August, 5.00pm-7.30pm
Hosted by Auckland Regional Holdings and Sea+City Projects Limited

The seminar will feature three speakers:
- Matthew Comer, Auckland Regional HoldingsPresentation: Auckland’s Waterfront: Transition from Harbour Board to a place for peopleWaterfronts of the world and the drivers for successful renewal programmes
- John Dalzell, CE and Project Director of Sea+City Projects LimitedPresentation: Place shaping in the Sea+City Project and key work streams

Auckland Regional Holdings and Sea+City Projects Limited are pleased to introduce our international guest speaker:
- Rita Justesen, Head of City Planning, Copenhagen CPH City and Port company, DenmarkPresentation: Place Shaping & City BuildingUse of design competitions to drive change in design of public space and buildingsPrivate sector investment and how quality design solutions were achieved.
RSVP to or phone (09) 303 9466 and place a diary note in your calendar for Monday 17 August, 5.00pm-7.30pm.

Our Home of the Year finalists

Sorry about the silence, everyone. We've been flat out preparing our 2009 Home of the Year issue. Which brings us to the point of today's post, which is to show you a sneak preview of the five finalists in the award. (We'll be announcing the winner on August 5, with mags on sale August 6. TV3's Campbell Live will screen a story on the finalists on their show on Monday August 3). The finalists shown here are in alphabetical order.

1. Andrea Bell from Pete Bossley Architects designed this big, beautifully crafted house on a clifftop in Glendowie, Auckland. It was photographed by Simon Devitt.

2. Mitchell & Stout Architects designed this home on Waiheke Island, an open-plan living and kitchen area bookended by two intriguing sculptural volumes. The photograph is by Patrick Reynolds.

3. Michael O'Sullivan of Bull O'Sullivan Architecture designed and built his own family home in Auckland's Mangere Bridge, which was photographed by Florence Noble.
4. Parsonson Architects designed this simple, light-as-a-feather bach at Shoal Beach in southern Hawkes Bay. It was photographed by Paul McCredie.
5. And Stevens Lawson Architects designed this long, low, mysterious home on Hawkes Bay's Te Mata Peak, which was photographed by Mark Smith.

For those of you who don't know, the competition works like this: In April, we call for entries from architects around the country, who send us plans and photographs of recently completed projects. Then our three-person judging panel - which this year was made up of myself (HOME New Zealand ed. Jeremy Hansen), Hugh Tennent, the Wellington architect who won our Home of the Year award in 2006, fellow Wellington architect Alistair Luke, who led the restoration of Plischke's Sutch house in Brooklyn, among many other projects - chooses 10 homes for our shortlist.

We visit each of those 10 homes in person, a week on the road that involves a lot of in-depth discussion about the pros and cons of each place. After those visits, we choose the winner and four finalists to feature in the Home of the Year issue. The winning architects get a $15,000 cash prize, thanks to the generosity of our partner in the awards, BMW.

Keep an eye out for the new issue of the magazine, containing heaps more about these fantastic homes. We're sending the last pages to the printers tomorrow.

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