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.
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