Kevin McCloud comes to NZ

HOME New Zealand is delighted to be part of the team bringing Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud to New Zealand to do a lecture at The Civic in Auckland on Wednesday October 2011. Pre-sale tickets have just gone on sale a couple of hours ago, and you can follow this link to access them. (Tickets are on sale via The Edge). We expect this to be a sellout talk, so book early. We look forward to meeting Kevin and seeing you there.

Home of the Year - our new promo reel

We announce the winner of our Home of the Year award on August 3 (with the magazine on shelves the next morning), but in the meantime, here's a little tease featuring all 10 shortlisted homes.

This year we've collaborated with the Gibson Group to produce short films of each of the shortlisted homes. We'll be posting the films here on the blog from August 4 as well.

Outtakes: Gerald Parsonson in the Marlborough Sounds

A little diversion for your Friday morning: these are outtakes from Paul McCredie's shoot of a bach in the Marlborough Sounds by Gerald Parsonson of Parsonson Architects that appears in our current (June/July) issue. As you can see, the home is made up of two pavilions, connected at ground level but elegantly offset from one another. Seeing them again here makes us wish we were on the way there now...

On an entirely unrelated note, we're just about to upload the trailer for our Home of the Year short film series. Stand by while we sort out the tech issues...

Fearon Hay to build new Auckland waterfront hotel

Congratulations to Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay at the team at Fearon Hay Architects: the winners of our Home of the Year award in 2000 are now the winners of the competition to design a new hotel for Auckland's Wynyard Quarter, on the site of Team New Zealand's former base. The five-star, 300-room hotel (artist's impression below) is being design in collaboration with Peddle Thorp Architects and is expected to take five years to reach completion...

...but you don't have to wait that long to see the duo's work in the area, as they have also designed two buildings at North Wharf not far from the hotel site which will be ready for the opening of the first stage of the development on August 6 (you can see them in the image below). This is an exciting new precinct for Auckland, so we encourage you to head down and take a look when it opens.

OMA's CCTV building reviewed in the New York Times

Apart from being transfixed by the UK phone hacking scandal this week, we were also interested to see Nicolai Ouroussoff's New York Times review of architect Rem Koolhaas' CCTV building in Beijing, now that the structure has finally opened. Ouroussoff is widely acknowledged as a fan of Koolhaas' work, and his provocative review and the ensuing discussion on the comments thread on the Times site is well worth a read. Here's an image by Philippe Ruault from the Times of the building, showing the garden beneath it:

You can read Ouroussoff's piece here. And you can see other photographs of the building from HOME's Beijing visit in an earlier post here.

Sorry about the relative quiet on the blog this week - we're hurtling towards next week's deadline of sending the Home of the Year issue to print.

The Home of the Year issue will be on sale August 4. An exciting extra this year is that we are creating online short films of each of the 10 homes shortlisted for the award, which you'll be able to view here on the site from August 4 onwards.

My Favourite Building - Vita Cochran

We like Christchurch textile artist Vita Cochran (and her work) so we knew she was a good candidate to choose a building for our 'My Favourite Building' page. And she did - choosing not a wreckage, but a building that symbolises Christchurch's modern, progressive side and embodies the city's post-earthquake determination: The New Brighton Library, designed by Warren & Mahoney. The photograph is by Stephen Goodenough.

Here's what Vita wrote for us about the building:

"I love this building because of its inspired siting: a wonderful modern library, a building with personality, in the sandhills of New Brighton beach. It's elliptical and aerodynamic, nautical without being heavy-handed, with a roof like folded insect wings and sunshades on one face which suggest paper kites. In winter you can sit in a window seat with a pile of books and look out at the waves crashing just metres away, while being sheltered from the freezing easterly. In summer you can get your magazines out and read them on the beach.

"I love that the building is unashamedly modern yet it sits easily with the 1934 clock tower at its Western entrance. It embraces the wonderful windswept Monterey Cypress on its north side and it doesn't overpower the sand-blasted, salt-coated scruffy charm of the rest of New Brighton. It is welcoming, always busy. A small sign asks you remove sandy towels and beach gear before entering; otherwise it just lets you get on and enjoy it. Happily, though it is in the city's damaged eastern suburbs, the library came through the earthquakes with only minor cosmetic damage. It was soon open to the public again with its shelves full beyond capacity, carrying material from other quake-damaged Christchurch libraries which remain closed."
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