Tomorrow on TV3

Tomorrow on TV3's Sunrise we'll be featuring the McCahon houses in Auckland's Titirangi - the artists' residence designed by Pete Bossley and Andrea Bell, and the cottage that McCahon himself and his family owned in the early 1950s. Here's a view of the artists' residence, designed to snake its way through the trees. (The photographs are by Patrick Reynolds.)

The artists' residence is administered by the McCahon House Trust, which selects the artists who, lucky things, to get reside and work there for three-month periods. The artists who have spent time there since it opened in 2007 include Judy Millar, Rohan Wealleans, Gavin Hipkins, James Robinson, Richard Lewer, Luise Fong, Eve Armstrong and Lisa Reihana. You can find out more information about the trust, its work and the artists it has hosted on its website,

In the image below, you can see both the artists' residence and the original McCahon cottage, and how they relate to each other on the site. The original cottage is further down the hill, and while it's lovely in summer, it would have been very damp and gloomy in winter.

The restoration of the original McCahon house was managed by architect Graeme Burgess, while Rick Pearson designed the discreet displays that tell visitors about McCahon, his life and his work. I remember wanting to use this shot below of the kitchen (with its painting by McCahon on the cupboards) on our April/May 2007 cover, but then getting cold feet. I wish now that I'd been braver about it, not only because the image is one which would resonate with many New Zealanders, but because I think the house is a very eloquent building that tells us a lot about an aspect of our history. It's a place I always like to take overseas visitors to - even if they don't know McCahon, there's something about visiting the house that feels like a very authentic New Zealand experience.
And here's the exterior of the original (and very humble) cottage, with the artists' residence just discernable in the background. Tune into TV3 tomorrow around 8.40am to see more, or check the link on the website when we post it.

Garden outtakes

One of our favourite annual features is our Landscapes special, which we publish every February. This year, as usual, we found a fantastic range of gardens established by people with very different philosophies of gardening. Architect Pete Bossley and his partner, artist Miriam van Wezel, favour the highly considered and structured approach, which has resulted in a garden of elegant restraint at their home in the Auckland suburb of Westmere.

These photographs are by Mark Smith.

Here's a view of the garden and its pond, which also shows the clever way it borrows views of neighbouring foliage, making for a park-like outlook.

This shot shows Miriam in one of her favourite spots, a concrete bench with a view of the garden that retains solar heat, making it a warm place to sit on cooler evenings.

The garden is on a sloping site, which Pete and Miriam have carefully divided up with a series of small retaining walls that also manage the way people walk through the area. Pete is a master of moving people elegantly through spaces in his architecture, so it makes sense that he applies the same philosophy and rigour in his garden.

And I put this final shot in for Pete, who complained the other day that we didn't show enough of the oioi reeds that dominate their front yard, one of his favourite parts of the garden. We don't have a shot of the whole front yard, but most of it is covered with these reeds, which Miriam has tied up in ponytails like you can see in this photograph.

We'll run more outtakes from other gardens featured in the current issue in the coming days.

Building a bach at blustery Bethells beach - Sunrise - Video - 3 News

Here's a link to this morning's house on TV3's Sunrise - a bach by Gary Hopkinson at Bethells Beach that we originally published in our December/January 2007 issue. One of the nice things about working with TV3 is the chance to revisit great houses from past issues like this one.

Building a bach at blustery Bethells beach - Sunrise - Video - 3 News

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Charles Renfro, New Zealand bound

Now this really is exciting news (which you may have also seen in the magazine itself): with the help of the lovely folk at First Windows & Doors, we're bringing New York architect Charles Renfro of the firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to New Zealand, where he'll be giving lectures in Auckland and Wellington.

DS+R are best-known at the moment for their work designing the High Line, New York's triumphant sliver of parkland that runs along an abandoned elevated railway on Manhattan's lower West Side. These photographs of it are by Iwan Baan:

And this is Charles himself:

It'll be Charles' first visit to New Zealand. His Auckland lecture is being held on Tuesday April 13 at 6pm at the Fisher & Paykel Auditorium in the Owen G. Glenn building on the University of Auckland campus. His Wellington lecture is being held on Wednesday April 14 at 6pm in the Adam Auditorium in City Gallery in Civic Square.
Charles will have a lot to talk about, including DS+R's work on the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art and the refurbishment of New York's Lincoln Center. The common thread in all these works is DS+R's determination to use these structures to add dynamism to the urban realm outside them - their designs are the opposite of self-contained.
Tickets are $15 for subscribers and students, and $20 for regular folk. You can purchase them at (just type 'Charles Renfro' into the search box).
You can see more of DS+R's work at Please come to the lectures - we think Charles is going to be one of the most interesting speakers you'll see in the country this year. Thanks again, too, to First Windows & Doors for their generous support of his visit.

HOME New Zealand on Sunrise

A Grey Lynn house by Malcolm Walker that was a finalist in our Home of the Year 2006 was our featured home on TV3's Sunrise last Friday. Here's the link if you want to see the footage. We'll be featuring another house sometime after 8.30am this Friday, so look out for that if you're interested.

Turning bad into good: Building on a soggy hill

Christchurch Art & Architecture

And one more event that we're also very pleased to support: Christchurch Art & Architecture, a one-day tour of fascinating homes and gardens, organised by Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery. Here are two of the properties we're looking forward to visiting - one is a house designed by the late Jonty Rout:

And the second is Miles Warren's wonderful house and garden, Ohinetahi.

Visit for more information about the tour and how to purchase tickets (which cost $110).

Style Safaris in Auckland and Wellington

There are still a few tickets available for our upcoming Style Safaris in Auckland and Wellington, our day-long guided tours of design stores that feature exclusive briefings, a great lunch, and excellent goody bags.

The Auckland Style Safari is taking place on Friday February 28, while the Wellington one will be held on Friday April 30.

You can visit to purchase tickets (just type 'Style Safari' into the search field on the site). Tickets are $70 for subscribers, or $80 for non-subscribers. Please come and join us - these are always enjoyable and very informative days.

Opera in a Days Bay Garden

HOME New Zealand is proud to be supporting the production of Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro' being performed in the garden of our Home of the Year 2006, designed by Hugh Tennent in Wellington's Days Bay. (The garden itself was designed by Megan Wraight.)

Produced by Rhona Fraser (above), directed by Sara Brodie, and featuring a full professional cast, the event will take place 'Glynebourne style', with patrons invited to bring a picnic to enjoy in the garden during the dinner interval.

Tickets are $50 (and include a glass of Seresin Estate wine), and can be booked at

Our cover house - outtakes

Now's a good time to show you some of the outtakes from the art-filled Auckland penthouse on our February/March 'Art Houses' cover. As usual, there were a number of great shots by Jeremy Toth that we couldn't fit into our layouts, so it's our pleasure to show them (and the artworks they show) here. The owners of the penthouse are generous philanthropists in the art world and, as you'll see here, have a remarkable collection of their own.

In this shot, photographs by Tacita Dean at left, and a sculpture by London-based New Zealand sculptor Francis Upritchard at right.

Below this work by Gordon Walters is a table designed by Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects (who also designed the penthouse space as a whole) that appears to miraculously float, thanks to the support structure cleverly concealed within it. The bowl is by Gavin Chilcott:

Here's a view of the hearth that Nat designed that we didn't get to show in its full glory in the layout, a faceted concrete creation. The artwork is by Andy Warhol.

Here's a view of the main living space, with its clerestory window, loggia with leafy views, and an artwork by Richard Killeen in the top right of the picture (the orange work at left is by James Ross):

In the guest bedroom, a chair by Donald Judd and an artwork by Gordon Walters:
The main entrance (guests arrive in the elevator) features a neon work by Martin Creed and artworks by Tacita Dean:

And finally, this glimpse to the bathroom from the master bedroom shows two works by Gretchen Albrecht: the canvas at right, and a mosaic she designed for the bathroom:

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