Design Awards 2011 with Daniel Le Brun

We're now calling for entries for our Design Awards 2011, which close on Thursday March 24, 2011. The entry form is in our current issue of the magazine.



It's hard to know what to say about the tragedy of the Christchurch earthquake. A website we like, Christchurch Modern ( is saying everything a little more eloquently than we can endeavour to: "Earthquakes, we hate you". Our thoughts are with Christchurch residents, and we're giving to the Red Cross, too (

My Favourite Building: Futuna's 50th anniversary

Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey's favourite building is featured in our current issue. Peter chose John Scott's masterpiece, Futuna Chapel, as his favourite - you can read why below. The photograph is by Paul McCredie.

"This enigmatic masterpiece has always held me," Peter writes. "For me it consists of two halves, the exterior and interior. The exterior evokes Maori civilisation and the cultures of the Pacific, while the interior reminds me of the beginnings of Christianity, the communities where the church began, the world of the desert fathers, the architecture of the Benedictine order and the Cistercians. The exterior is relatively unadorned where the form carries the aesthetic, while the beautifully orchestrated interior is embellished with the Stations of the Cross and glass designed by Jim Allen. Its reticence nourishes the spirit."

Futuna Chapel, Friend Street, Karori, Wellington is the venue for all events. Seating capacity 100 persons. A marquee and extra chairs will be available for overfl ow. A small PA system will broadcast the Mass to the outside area. Public welcome to all events (preferential booking for architects at CPD events). Refreshments available for purchase. No parking on site please
Powhiri and welcome (Th e powhiri will be outdoors weather permitting.)
Unveiling of restored plaques and gold medal
Music performance by Aroha Yates-Smith
Time: 5:00 to 7:30pm
Mass celebrated by Archbishop John Dew
Time: 11:00am 12:30pm
Cost: $15.00 NZIA members / $20.00 non NZIA members / Arch Students Free (limited spaces available)
Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Participants: Plytech, Ponoko, Tony Richardson – Model Designer, architecture students
To Book: Th e Whiteboard Ltd / / ph 04 4999550
Cost: $20.00 NZIA members / $25.00 non NZIA members / Arch Students Free (limited spaces available)
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Participants: Amanda Yates Lecturer Massey University
Professor Dorita Hannah Massey University
Professor of Architecture Mike Austin UNITEC
Albert Refiti Senior Lecturer Spatial Design AUT
To Book: The Whiteboard Ltd / / ph 04 4999550
The Dulux Futuna Lecture by Ric Leplastrier Architect (Australia) / 15 CPD points
Recipient of the Dreyer Foundation Prize 2009
Cost: $25.00 NZIA members / $30.00 non NZIA members / $10.00 Arch Students (limited spaces available)
Time: 6:00pm to 7:30pm
To Book: The Whiteboard Ltd / / ph 04 4999550
Architects at Futuna / 25 CPD Points
Cost: $25.00 NZIA members / $30.00 non NZIA members / $10.00 Arch Students Free (limited spaces available)
Time: 9:30am registration and introductions, talks 10:00am to 1:00pm
Participants: Peter Beaven, Ian Athfield, Gerald Melling, David Mitchell, John Walsh (Communications Manager, NZIA)
To Book: The Whiteboard Ltd / / ph 04 4999550
Public Open Day and Musical Performance
Cost: Koha
Time: 1:30pm to 4:30pm ( Music 2:00pm to 2:30pm)
Refreshments: Available for purchase Saturday and Sunday
Peter's selection of Futuna is timely, as the Futuna Trust is organising celebrations for the chapel's 50th anniversary in mid-March. Most importantly, the chapel will be open to the public on Sunday March 20, a terrific opportunity to see inside this fantastic structure. Here are the programme details (which are also available at

HOME in Kia Ora


Many of you will already have noticed this, but Kia Ora magazine (Air New Zealand's inflight magazine, our ACP stablemate) is now featuring regular stories on great New Zealand homes, sourced from us. We like the partnership and how Kia Ora's wide readership gives extra exposure to great New Zealand design. Look out for a new house in each issue of Kia Ora, which is published monthly.

The great bach debate

When is a bach not a bach, but a holiday home?

This is a question we've often pondered here at the magazine. Whenever we think we know the answer - that a genuine bach is indisputably modest - we run into the fact that the common usage of the term has expanded, and that it is now used to describe getaway homes that have all the bells and whistles we'd expect to find in a city pad. (A reader wrote in to complain that our use of the word 'bach' on our December cover was an abuse of the term, as the homes in the magazine were not truly baches. We reply that in some cases, this reader probably has a point - hence this post).

This territory - the boundary between bach and holiday home - is something architects Lance and Nicola Herbst have been exploring for many years now, most recently in the bach that features on the cover of our current issue (and in the images accompanying this post, shot by Jackie Meiring). The fact that the bach is on Great Barrier Island helps, as all houses there are off the grid and subject to strict site coverage limits.

Nevertheless, Lance and Nicky's design is determindely a bach in the modest sense of the word: two bedrooms, an outdoor room, and a simple combined kitchen and living space. No frills, but beautifully and thoughtfully detailed.
What follows is our short Q+A with Lance and Nicola from our current issue, along with some outtakes from Jackie's shoot to give you more of a look around the bach. Please write in with your comments about the difference between baches and holiday homes, and if you think someone should take a stand to defend the 'proper' use of the term.

HOME New Zealand: What makes a great bach, as opposed to a beach home?

Lance Herbst: It’s not about deprivation, but about consciousness, that business of being aware of how much water and electricity you’re using, and filling your day with rituals – you have to cut the firewood and go out and get the fish for dinner. This building has been designed to achieve rustic ideals, but there’s an enormous amount of detail in it to get to this level. That’s because we believe in style and elegance as well. You don’t have to compromise your sense of aesthetics.

The main living space of this bach is really a covered deck, yet you also have a much more snug sitting area, too.

Lance: In baches, we try and make one warm, well-edged space for when the weather gets lashy.

Nicola: We wanted this to have an intimacy, so we decided that we would have a fairly low ceiling with exposed beams – that’s given it a richess and makes this space operate in a calming and more inward-looking way.

Your bach designs are well-known. Do you like doing bigger houses too?

Lance: I have no problem designing slick houses. It would be a lot of fun doing something really slick and sexy. It’s about context. There’s nothing wrong with that from an architectural perspective.

Our new cover

Our new cover is a photograph of a bach on Great Barrier Island by Herbst Architects, shot by Jackie Meiring. We like it a lot and hope you do too. The magazine is in stores from today.

Upcoming: Convergence/Divergence Object art & design

If you're in Napier during February, check out Convergence/Divergence - an exhibition featuring current design works from several designers including David Trubridge and David Moreland. The show is on from Feb 4-28 at Statements Gallery, which is on the corner of Tennyson and Hastings Streets. Visit their website for more information.

Outtakes - Godward Guthrie in Omaha

The home on the cover of our December/January issue by Julian Guthrie of Godward Guthrie Architects is an exercise in blurring boundaries between inside and out. While the whole idea of 'indoor outdoor' flow has become a titanic cliche, this is a house that makes it still seem like a noble aim. An array of screens, doors and glass panels can be configured to make the house feel connected to the beach no matter what the weather. Here's a view of the house from the beach, with the main living area on the upper floor. All the photographs are by Patrick Reynolds.

The home's living area opens onto terraces on its northern and western sides. An exterior staircase behind the screen in the picture above leads from the living area down to the lawn.

This view (below) from the street shows how the doors of the hallway can be opened onto the pool area (the hallway is also a very effective collector of solar heat in winter). At left on the upper floor is the terrace, which can be sheltered from the wind with moveable glass screens.

Below is a view from the sheltered pool area towards the beach. The rumpus room downstairs can be fully opened up to the weather, or closed down behind glass doors and cedar screens. In this photograph, it reads as a totally outdoor space.

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