From our archives: Our worst cover ever?



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A gem from our archives that shows our predecessors didn't do everything right. This is from the unfortunate period in the 1960s and 1970s when the cover of the magazine was pretty much put up for sale. Here, a model in a field (in a fetching outfit, we must admit) holds an aluminium door frame leading to ... where exactly? We're baffled, but have to admit we kinda love it too.



Travel: Copenhagen's Kastrup Sea Baths



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Copenhagen's Kastrup Sea Baths, designed by White Arkitektur AB and built in 2004, are a delighful invitation to take a dip. And we needed enticement the day we visited in August, during a month in which the Danes had been complaining about their cooler-than-usual summer. There was one other couple at the baths, but they'd already been in the water. The lifeguard on duty was bundled up in a fleece jacket and scarf. It was only 16 degrees, but we had to go in, as we'd come all the way from New Zealand.


Besides, the baths themselves are fantastic - in reality they are not baths so much as a circular, sheltered platform at the end of a wharf that extends from the beach. (It's a short ride - about 15 minutes - on Copenhagen's new subway from the central city to a stop that's a few minutes' walk from the beach). The structure contains changing rooms and culminates in a diving platform.


The great advantage of the circular timber structure is that there is always somewhere to shelter from the breeze. 


From the top of the diving platform, the view north towards central Copenhagen also takes in some of the offshore wind turbines. The images below show some of the other points from which swimmers can dive off the structure.


The clear panel you can see in the image below contains outdoor showers where swimmers can rinse off with a view of the Oresund Bridge leading from Denmark to Sweden as well as Santiago Calatrava's 'Turning Torso' residential tower in Malmo across the water.



In the photographs below you can see white doors which lead to the small changing rooms. That's the lifeguard reading in her chair - the cool temperatures meant it wasn't a busy day at the baths, but we were still pleased we took the plunge.



Our new cover



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Our new cover features a home by Matt Brew of Cantilever Architects on Waiheke Island, photographed by Patrick Reynolds. Subscriber copies should arrive on Friday September 30, with copies on newsstands on October 3.

From our archives: The gnomic celebration, 1945



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You can understand everyone was a little giddy, what with the war ending and all ... to celebrate peace, Home & Building published a tribute to garden gnomes and other enchanting outdoor creatures. "Maybe this is all just fantasy, but these ornaments do make any garden colourful, don't you think?"

My Favourite Building: Sir Eion Edgar and Dunedin's new stadium



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A sneak preview from our October/November: Sir Eion Edgar, chairman of Forsyth Barr, has chosen Dunedin's spectacular new stadium (by Jasmax and Brisbane-based Populous) as his favourite building. The photograph is by Graham Warman. You can read what Sir Eion has to say about the building in our new issue, on newsstands October 3.

Travel: London's Serpentine Pavilion



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If you're lucky enough to be travelling to London before October 16 (or if you're living there), we highly recommend you visit this year's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.

From the outside, as you can see in the image below, it's an inscrutable black timber box. We haven't been able to work out what the timber is coated in, but it had a thick, hand-applied quality that lent an artisanal feel to the structure's exterior. 


There are three door-sized holes in the pavilion's exterior. Visitors can pass through any of them (entry is free). You then arrive in a dark, narrow corridor leading to other openings.


Once you've passed through these secondary doorways, you'll find the small miracle of a courtyard garden with planting designed by Piet Oudolf, the Dutchman who also had a hand in the planting on New York's High Line (along with a lifetime of fascinating projects (which you can read about here).


Zumthor's black walls throw Oudolf's pretty planting into sharp relief. It's a deeply contemplative space, surrounded by benches and tables and chairs with a view of the garden and the slice of sky above. On the way there, we'd wondered about the wisdom of Zumthor designing a garden space in the middle of Kensington Gardens, the enormous green space where the pavilion is located. But the courtyard garden works beautifully as a contrast to the open spaces outside, enhancing the appreciation of nature by confining it to this small space.


The modest but magnificent simplicity of Zumthor's pavilion is apparently typical of his work (we haven't had the good fortune yet of seeing any other structures by him, but many of you will know of the Thermal Baths at Vals, which you can see more of at the link here). His structures are rich in texture and materiality, but also inherently modest in their approach.


Each year the Serpentine Gallery commissions an architect who has not previously had a project built in the UK to design a summer pavilion in its grounds (the pavilions are auctioned off at the end of each season). Zumthor's pavilion is an interesting, self-assured contrast to the architectural fireworks of some of the projects of previous years. You can see a slideshow of previous Serpentine Gallery Pavilions on The Guardian's website at the link here.

From our archives: Favourite covers, winter 1939



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A favourite cover from 1939, where an elegant combination of images reflects the magazine's desire to cater to a broad audience including architects, homemakers, and gardeners (then as now, the magazine included regular features on landscape design).

From our archives: A new series



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Our next issue (published October 3) marks our 75th birthday: 75 years, that is, since Building Today magazine was first published (Building Today became Home and Building Today a few issues later, then Home & Building, Home & Entertaining in 1999, and HOME in 1997).

Despite all the name changes, our trawl through the archives reminded us that our mission today remains pretty much the same as it was then: to showcase New Zealand's best homes (and buildings in general, in the early days) and celebrate great New Zealand architecture.

The image above is of our first-ever cover (now stored in binders in the safe hands of the Architecture Archive at the University of Auckland). We'll be showing you a range of goodies from the archives on the blog over the next few weeks. And, of course, there's a special 75th anniversary feature in the October/November issue of the magazine, which has just gone to the printing press.

From our archives: A new series



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Our next issue (published October 3) marks our 75th birthday: 75 years, that is, since Building Today magazine was first published (Building Today became Home and Building Today a few issues later, then Home & Building, Home & Entertaining in 1999, and HOME in 1997).

Despite all the name changes, our trawl through the archives reminded us that our mission today remains pretty much the same as it was then: to showcase New Zealand's best homes (and buildings in general, in the early days) and celebrate great New Zealand architecture.

The image above is of our first-ever cover (now stored in binders in the safe hands of the Architecture Archive at the University of Auckland). We'll be showing you a range of goodies from the archives on the blog over the next few weeks. And, of course, there's a special 75th anniversary feature in the October/November issue of the magazine, which has just gone to the printing press.

Events: Sean Godsell in Auckland



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Righto, we're back. Sorry about the silence, but we went on holiday and it seemed a good opportunity to allow you to watch our short web films of the homes shortlisted in our Home of the Year award. In any case, some news: Australian architect Sean Godsell is giving a talk in Auckland next Thursday September 29 at 6pm at the Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls' Grammar School, 16 Howe Street, Auckland. Tickets are $25 from Ticketek (student tickets are $20) - you can purchase them at the link here. For information on other Architecture Week events, visit the site here.
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