Drawing Board


To fit out the office, down the length of the space I built a work desk with a layout space and library at one end, and against the wall opposite placed a retro drawing board.

The board I bought through Trade Me, from a retired Railways draughtsman living in Godzone Stepford suburbia on the northern edge of Christchurch called Northwood. An education in itself, going there.

But it has been a pleasure to stand at the board and draw, both freehand and using the machine.

Sketching and model-making is a satisfyingly tactile way to develop architecture. I guess this means a serious return for me to the hand-made design drawing, a practice essential to the design process, to communicating.

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor said “In order to explain you sketch, you talk, and then you start to build.”.

Hand Drawing

Pine Hill Road, Dunedin

Pine Hill Road

A tiny project I’ve been working on for the past year is a landscape intervention to a modernist Dunedin house.

Designed in the late 1950’s by an engineer for himself and family, the house perches precariously above Pine Hill Road, the main SH1 road that enters Dunedin.

Placing steps and decks up the side of the house has been equally challenging.

Finally a contractor has been appointed, someone willing to do the excavation by hand.

All going well, completion is expected before the end of the year.

Tim Nees: Architect in Residence, Management Board Member of Studio Christchurch, convenor of the Canterbury Architectural Awards

Keeping busy: Tim’s other roles

Architect in Residence

I’ve been the Architect in Residence at the College of Engineering, University of Canterbury, since the end of July.

My main role is to facilitate closer engagement and collaboration between engineers and architects.

An interview was recently published on Scoop.

Read the article »

Management Board of Studio Christchurch

I’ve also been appointed to the Management Board of Studio Christchurch, a cooperative group between universities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The Management Board sets extracurricular projects based on urban research and proposed interventions in Christchurch city.

Studio Christchurch Website »

Convenor of the Canterbury Architectural Awards

I am also on the Canterbury Branch Committee of the NZIA and over summer will be the convenor of the Canterbury Architectural Awards.

NZIA Awards Website »

FESTA 2014

We proudly sponsored FESTA, the Festival of Transitional Architecture, which was held over the week of 20-27 October including Labour weekend.

The main event is called City-Ups and was a sensational spectacle of temporary urban structures, sound and light, as you can see from these photos.

If you’re in Christchurch or don’t want to miss next years, sign up for news on the FESTA site in the form at the bottom of the page http://festa.org.nz

65 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch, New Zealand

65 Cambridge Terrace

new work studio / tim nees architects moved into the iconic Warren & Mahoney building a few weeks ago, and we’re starting to feel settled.

We occupy a narrow half-gabled space near the top of the building overlooking the courtyard and pool, a space rich in natural colours and textures, shadow and light, and history.

Sharing the building with other architects and landscape architects adds to the studio atmosphere, and provides a focused and inspiring place to work.