Enjoy the best of New Zealand this summer with Daniel Le Brun



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HOME New Zealand is pleased to offer our readers the chance to celebrate summer with Daniel Le Brun Brut NV.

A premium Methode Traditionelle made right here in Marlborough, Daniel Le Brun is the culmination of 12 generations of French champagne-making heritage. With aromatics that consist of fresh strawberry, citrus and orange peel, D`niel Le Brun is perfect for raising a glass to the festive season. It's available from supermarkets and fine wine retailers for around $30.99 per bottle, but to help you toast the festive season, we have three Daniel Le Brun bottles worth $30.99 to give away.

To enter, email homenewzealand@acpmagazines.co.nz - simply tell us why summer in New Zealand is a special time for you and be in to win!

Please note you must be 18 years or older to enter. No purchase is necessary. The promotion commences on December 23 2010 and closes on January 21 2011. Winners will be notified by January 27 by email. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash.

We like: The Glass Room



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A work of fiction, with modernist architecture at its heart: we're a little late to the party with The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (it was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2009), but it is certainly worth adding to the Christmas gift list of any architecture-obsessed friend who hasn't already devoured it. Not that it's a book for architecture enthusiasts alone, as its roller-coaster plot will engage even the flightiest readers.

The book is a ripping fictional yarn set in a real house: Mies van der Rohe's Vila Tugendhat, designed and built from 1928-1930 in the Czech Republic and now recognised as a World Heritage Site.

The book captures the optimism of the times, embodied by Mies' shimmering modernist architectural creation, and follows the home's Jewish owners as they are forced to flee the chaos and bloodshed of the Nazi invasion. We highly recommend it. You can find out more about the Vila Tugendhat at the link here.

Outtakes - Ian Athfield in Nelson



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Architect Ian Athfield doesn't do many houses - these days, his time is mostly occupied with larger projects such as stadiums and apartment towers. But that doesn't mean he's lost his touch: here at Mapua, near Nelson, he has created a fascinating home for Halfdan Hansen and Juliette Fox and their two daughters. The house is featured in our current issue, but we wanted to share some of Simon Devitt's shots of it here that we couldn't fit in our article.

Halfdan told Ath, as he's known, that he wanted a long, villa-like corridor. Ath delivered a more dramatic version of it, with a low, dark ceiling and dark floor. It creates a great feeling of compression when you're in it, making the light-filled spaces off it seem even more compelling.

As you travel down the hallway, every new space comes as a complete surprise. You can see this fishpond (above) out a small window from the hallway. The view below is from Juliette's studio across the pond to the main bedroom.

And this is the view of the house from the street (below), a mysterious object that almost demands to be explored. We hope the coverage of the house in our current issue is enough to satisfy the curious. We thank Juliette and Halfdan for their generosity in allowing us to publish the house, and applaud the creativity and inventiveness of their architect.

Outtakes - Ian Athfield in Nelson



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Architect Ian Athfield doesn't do many houses - these days, his time is mostly occupied with larger projects such as stadiums and apartment towers. But that doesn't mean he's lost his touch: here at Mapua, near Nelson, he has created a fascinating home for Halfdan Hansen and Juliette Fox and their two daughters. The house is featured in our current issue, but we wanted to share some of Simon Devitt's shots of it here that we couldn't fit in our article.

Halfdan told Ath, as he's known, that he wanted a long, villa-like corridor. Ath delivered a more dramatic version of it, with a low, dark ceiling and dark floor. It creates a great feeling of compression when you're in it, making the light-filled spaces off it seem even more compelling.

As you travel down the hallway, every new space comes as a complete surprise. You can see this fishpond (above) out a small window from the hallway. The view below is from Juliette's studio across the pond to the main bedroom.

And this is the view of the house from the street (below), a mysterious object that almost demands to be explored. We hope the coverage of the house in our current issue is enough to satisfy the curious. We thank Juliette and Halfdan for their generosity in allowing us to publish the house, and applaud the creativity and inventiveness of their architect.

My Favourite Building: Matthew Arnold



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Christchurch graphic designer Matthew Arnold's favourite building is Peter Beaven's masterpiece, the Lyttelton Road Tunnel Administration Building, which dates from 1964. The photograph is by Stephen Goodenough.


Here's what Matthew had to say about his choice:

Matthew: "Peter Beaven designed this building in 1962 as part-monument, part-utility shed. The tunnel links Lyttelton Port to Christchurch city. It was a major engineering feat at the time and an important transport route. On its own the tunnel looks like a hole in a hill, but this architectural masterpiece at one end gives it much more clout. I like to imagine up top there’s a Starship Enterprise-style control bridge with large levers and dials that control things like the weather, petrol prices and Oprah’s weight. If we ever have to pack up modern New Zealand and leave it as we found it, we should just leave this building (and maybe Ian Athfield’s Wellington house) with a note saying, 'You’re under video surveillance', to ensure nobody tries to renovate."

We contacted Matthew to ask him to do this piece because we like Christchurch Modern, the blog he created after moving to Christchurch. It's a homage to that city's great modernist homes, and well worth a browse.

We like: Gisborne's PAULNACHE gallery



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Gisborne's PAULNACHE gallery proves that you don't have to live in one of the main centres to enjoy regular visits to top-notch dealer galleries. Matthew Nache (below left) and Gene Paul set up PAULNACHE over five years ago, and now boast a roster of artists that includes Joanna Langford, Ben Pearce, John Walsh, Robert Jahnke, James Ormsby and Dion Hitchens. Many of the artists have connections to the East Coast themselves, so their presence on the walls of this gallery makes even more sense. Check it out if you're passing through the first city of the sun this summer. The photograph is by Paul McCredie.


We like: Dunedin's Modern Miss Vintage Clothing



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There are many good reasons to visit Dunedin. One of them is Modern Miss Vintage Clothing, the store run by Violet Faigan (below) at 21 Moray Place. Violet's impeccable eye and excellent connections have resulted in an ever-changing collection of vintage gems that has won her fans from the fashion and art crowds from all over the country. So when you're in Dunedin, be sure to go and browse. The photograph is by Graham Warman. You can also sign up on Modern Miss' Facebook page.

We like: Garth Chester chairs



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We are excited to feature these chairs (designed by Garth Chester) in a photo shoot tomorrow, they will appear in the Feb/March issue of HOME New Zealand magazine - our art-focused issue. They are part of the Douglas Lloyd Jenkins collection, to be auctioned at Art+Object auction house on Thursday 24th February 2011. We've borrowed a few other goodies to shoot as well, so look out for it in our first issue next year (which is on sale on February 7)!

See the Art + Object blog here.

Outtakes: A favourite recent house



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One of our favourite houses we've recently featured in our pages is a 1954 gem in Hamilton by architect Peter Middleton. It was the city's first architect-designed modernist house, a brave experiment in open-plan living. Heather Lomas, who with her husband Alan, commissioned Middleton to design the house, still lives there, and can therefore attest to the longevity of his design. All these photographs were taken by Paul McCredie. Here, Heather opens the door separating the living room from the kitchen and dining area, a device Middleton created in order to separate children and adults when necessary.

An elegant stone fireplace separates the living area from the library, up a couple of steps.
The image below shows the cedar-lined bedroom with a view out to the garden, which runs down to Lake Rotoroa. The shot below that shows the view of the house from the garden.

And the image below shows Heather herself sitting outside her house. After we sent her a copy of the magazine with her home in it, she sent us a lovely letter. Our favourite quote: "Paul McCredie's ruthless elimination of much of the clutter in the house for the photographs certainly paid off - they are excellent". (We should add that Paul is indeed one of our most skilled declutterers). Heather added that she was sorry that Peter Middleton is no longer alive to enjoy the appreciation of this house. We agree, but we also think it's a testament to his talent that his work has dated so beautifully, as enjoyable now as it was when it was first designed.

We like... Headspace 1



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Earlier this year, students studying the Bachelor of Environments at the University of Melbourne took part in a project called Headspace 1 as part of their degree. Each student was asked to take an idea from within their head and literally place it on the outside. Students re-created their ideas with paper, in a form of headwear. The sculptural like results are awesome!


My Favourite Building: Andrew Drummond



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Christchuch sculptor Andrew Drummond's favourite building is a gem by mid-century master Ernst Plischke. The photograph is by Stephen Goodenough.

Andrew: "When I first came to Christchurch I drove past this church and thought, 'Wow, what’s that?' I thought Christchurch was lucky to have a Plischke church. There is some grand and extraordinary church architecture here, but I like St Martin’s, this Presbyterian church which is just around the corner from my home. When you walk in, you know you’re going into a very special space. It’s austere, but it has beautiful proportions and light coming through the coloured glass – a reference, I think, to Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp, which does a similar thing. This church is more formal, but it’s just gorgeous."

The church is at 43 St Martin's Road, Christchurch.

We like: Sunday Painters restaurant



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You just can't help but love Sunday Painters restaurant in Auckland's Ponsonby, which featured in our October issue. It opened earlier this year, complete with a whimsical interior that features a mural by James Kirkwood, one of the restaurant's owners. (We should add at this point that the French-style food is very good, too, as is the service).


The name Sunday Painters comes from the occasional dinners James and his co-owners Esther Lamb and Isobel Thom liked to throw for their art-school friends in RSA Halls around Auckland. The old halls didn't allow for decorative schemes as lavish as this.

Among the Cubist artworks on the walls are these plates, made and hand-painted by Isobel, an artist who also runs the Sunday Painters kitchen. We've always been suckers for a bit of Willow pattern, and think Isobel's take on it is fantastic.


The restaurant is at 185 Ponsonby Road - we highly recommend you visit, but book beforehand as it has been very popular. The number is 09 360 2001. These photographs are by Patrick Reynolds.

We like: Home Work (subscribe to HOME and get a free copy)



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We like Home Work, a new book that invites readers inside the homes of twenty New Zealand architects - the rules being that the architects must have designed their homes themselves and still be living in them.

It's a fantastically eclectic selection of houses, from 1950s classics to contemporary extravaganzas such as Neville Price's Northland home on the cover. (We've run an excerpt from the book about Tony Watkins' house at Auckland's Karaka Bay in our current issue).

The photographs, we're proud to say, are by HOME New Zealand contributor Patrick Reynolds, with erudite text and informative interviews with the architects by John Walsh, editor of Architecture NZ.

The good news is that if you subscribe now (or renew your subscription) to HOME New Zealand, you'll get a copy of Home Work (worth $75) absolutely free. You can do so by visiting www.magshop.co.nz/home. An ideal Christmas gift, we suggest? You can give somebody a subscription and keep Home Work for yourself...

We like: Federal & Wolfe cafe



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One of our favourite new Auckland cafes is Federal & Wolfe, which features in the 'Greenhome' section of our current issue. We like their focus on organic produce and the 'gate to plate' philosophy of the menu of chef Holly Shaw (below left, pictured with Johnny Potiki Hartnett and Jeremy Turner in a photograph by Todd Eyre).

As well as the food, we like Federal & Wolfe's easy-going approach to interiors, which involved ripping out some of the old fittings of the previous occupant (a restaurant named Rice) and replacing them with a very casual mixture of trestles, benches and old chairs. Those in the food biz will also know Jeremy Turner as the co-owner of Parnell's Cibo restaurant, a job he's still doing along with overseeing Federal & Wolfe.


Federal & Wolfe is, as the name suggests, on the corner of Federal & Wolfe Streets (one block back from the lower end of Albert Street in the central city). It is open weekdays from 7am to 3pm, and NOT weekends as our article erroneously states (for which we offer our apologies).

Our Favourite Building: Chris Adams and Bianca Pohio



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In every issue of our magazine, we devote the back page to a feature that invites architects (and regular folk) to choose their favourite buildings. Over the coming weeks we'll be posting some of these. First up, architects Chris Adams and Bianca Pohio, who divide their time between Auckland and Sydney. They like the idea of Auckland's old works depot becoming a place for art. The photograph is by Todd Eyre.

Chris: "These buildings were designed in the mid-1960s by George Kenny under Tibor Donner, Auckland’s City Architect. All the heroic core buildings in Auckland – the City Council building, the Ellen Melville Hall and the Parnell Baths – were built in this period. This one reminds us of New York’s DIA Beacon, an old factory that’s now an art gallery."
Bianca: "This is a perfect building to be a gallery. I hadn’t noticed it until I came to Deus ex Machina, the cafĂ© here. It is beautifully constructed with its steel and in-situ concrete, and amazing natural light. There’s been a sense that New Zealand is a young country so you can just bowl things and build again. These buildings should be preserved to value the wonderful architecture of the era."


You can easily visit the buildings if you wish - as Bianca mentions, Shed Five cafe (also known as Deus ex Machina) is in one of them, at 90 Wellesley Street. At the moment, the area is planned to be developed as the Rhubarb Lane residential quarter. The first stage of the Rhubarb Lane development will be built in the lower part of the depot, so the sheds behind Chris and Bianca will be demolished to make way for a park space for the area. Shed Five, however, will remain in place, although its long-term future is less certain.

Our new cover



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The cover of our December/January 2011 issue, which will be on newsstands on November 22, features of a photograph by Patrick Reynolds of a house by Julian Guthrie at Omaha, north of Auckland. This is our annual issue featuring coastal homes, so we wanted a cover that shouted 'summer!'. Hopefully this does the trick. Thanks to Julian for letting us know about this excellent house, for the Couillault family for being so helpful with our shoot, and of course to Patrick for the great shot.

Incoming: at Douglas + Bec



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We are looking forward to the arrival of these new chairs to the Douglas + Bec store. The WSC stacking chair was launched at Milan this year by Well-Groomed-Fox. Also pleased to report the new matte white + matte black versions of the much loved angle lamp 2.0 by Workroom design are in store now.


We like: Matthias Heiderich photography



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A new find and favourite is the work of German photographer Matthias Heiderich... great combination of simplicity and colour.





found via swiss miss

more of Matthias Heiderich's portfolio can be found at the Behance Network

We like: Brian Brake's book



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One of our favourite Christmas gift ideas this year is a new book from Te Papa Press featuring the work of the late photographer Brian Brake.

Brake explored the world as a star contributor to LIFE, National Geographic, Paris Match and other publications in the golden age of photo magazines from the 1950 (his 'Monsoon' series, an image from which is featured below, became perhaps his best-known works); later, his images showed New Zealanders a dazzling, cinematic version of their country. His world-wide success (including his acceptance into the renowned Magnum agency) made him a household name at home, and to some extent, a tall poppy. The book has an accompanying exhibition is at Te Papa that runs until May 8, 2011.
Our only (very minor) quibble with the book is that it doesn't show images of Brake's very well-known house in the bush in west Auckland, designed by architect Ron Sang. We were lucky enough to have our Home of the Decade award announcement at the house in 2005. It's a magical box that appears to float over the surrounding greenery while the city glimmers in the distance. Its owners at the time had great respect for the home's pedigree, and had kept it in impeccable condition (they have since sold the house to new owners).

These photographs of the house were taken by Becky Nunes. The view here is from the home's tatami room, looking over the magnolia branches to the main deck and living area. It's a significant New Zealand house and was a homecoming of sorts for Brake, as it was the place he settled back in New Zealand after many years abroad.

Come and work with us!



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The lovely Caroline Daniel, our direct advertising sales manager, is (unfortunately) leaving us, so we're looking for a replacement. The direct sales manager is in charge of selling advertising space to advertisers such as furniture retailers and other building and design industry people who don't use an advertising agency to make their bookings.

If this is something you might be interested in, please check out the link below. We're nice to work with, we really are!

Here's the link:

http://www.seek.co.nz/Job/sales-opportunity-advertising/in/auckland-auckland-central/18473669

Getting heavy



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There is an honourable tradition in New Zealand home design that strives for lightness, of timber homes resting lightly on the land. I remember my French teacher at high school saying that when she returned to New Zealand after many years in France, the homes in New Zealand looked as if they could all blow away in the next breeze.

One of the finalists in this year's Home of the Year award makes a case for the European sort of solidity my teacher was referring to. The house is by Stevens Lawson Architects (who won the award with their house by Lake Wanaka, which you can see in an earlier post), built for clients who requested concrete for its heft and its low-maintenance qualities. These photographs by Mark Smith show just how solid this home turned out to be. It is located on a harbourside site in Auckland's eastern suburbs. The elevation below faces the water, with the main bedroom on the upper right, the kitchen and dining space below it, and a covered sitting area extending off the living room on the left-hand-side of this image:

The house is just as sculptural at the entrance, at the bottom of a very steep driveway. This shot gives you a good view of the central 'canyon', a glass-topped, double-height hallway that drags light into the centre of the home. (The house is located beside a slope to the north that blocks sunlight for a few hours in the winter, hence the design of the glass-topped volume to admit more light).

The home was designed using pre-cast concrete panels that feature ribbed details best viewed in this shot of the southern elevation:

The monumental exterior means some of the interiors are just as dramatic. This view shows the inside of the 'canyon' with its glass-topped roof. The timber feature is a 'bridge' across this double-height space.
This shot looks from the dining area across to a living room which in turn opens onto the covered exterior sitting area you can see in the first shot of this post. Inside, the material palette has been kept to a simple combination of timber and concrete with slate floors.
Some of the rooms feature surprising and dramatic devices for admitting light, such as the space in the shot below, which can be used as a home theatre or a snug, cave-like hideaway (there is also a slow window looking out to the water just out of the right-hand-side of the frame). The home may seem intimidatingly hefty from the outside, but as you can see, the interior offers a wide range of views and experiences.


So there you have it - an unashamedly heavyweight house. Sure, it runs contrary to the New Zealand timber tradition, but its engagement with the uniquely New Zealand landscape around it means it doesn't feel as if this is anything other than a New Zealand house.

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