The lack of affordable housing is prominently featured in the media at the moment, so it was great to have a client approach us to create a design for them.
Grafton Street Housing is a medium density, affordable housing development in Waltham for NZ Mainco. Work on the multi-residential design is in progress in the studio at the moment. The challenge has been to achieve an intimate sense of scale and community with very tight site constraints. Colour and detail on the stand-alone units link the buildings to the villas and cottages in the neighbourhood.
To discuss your own multi-residential or affordable housing requirements contact Tim here »
Photo Credit: COCA
Christchurch architectural gem, COCA Art Gallery recently reopened after a substantial post-earthquake refurbishment. Their opening exhibition is really entertaining, and looks fantastic in the space.
1. Personality. Meet them in person. How well do they communicate? Is there a rapport between you? Do they talk about their ideas in a way you can readily understand? Do they fill you with confidence?
2. Design. Look at their work. But more importantly, visit one of their buildings. Do you like it? Does it make you feel good? Is it well put together? Make sure it is the kind of architecture you connect with.
3. Reputation. Talk to previous clients. Seek recommendations.
4. Process. If they’re not upfront about timeframes, fees and cost, then it’s time to go elsewhere.
With a concept to support simple and flexible living, the design for this house, perched on a ledge above Taylors Mistake Bay has evolved into a collection of elegant objects. These three vessels are grouped artfully together to create an afternoon courtyard that maximise beach views and sun. Construction will commence in early 2016.
- What if housing was more affordable?
- What if housing solutions were more achievable?
- What if architects and engineers could contribute creatively to the supply of housing, and at the same time, improve the environment?
The affordability of housing has featured in news headlines consistently throughout the year. But, despite the high media profile, few satisfactory answers have been offered and the dream of owning a home has, for many New Zealanders, been pushed further and further beyond reach.
But is owning a single family unit on a single piece of land the appropriate goal for all New Zealanders to aspire to at this point in the 21st century? Is this crisis really an opportunity to rethink the nation’s goals not just in terms of housing but in terms of all the environmental and social factors that are present alongside housing? With an unprecedented demand to develop new homes in the Auckland region, and the complex housing requirements of Christchurch’s rebuild, surely this point in time can be seen as not a crisis but a strategic opportunity for New Zealanders to address the way we design, build and invest in houses.
As part of my role as Architect in Residence, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury I presented a lecture in September 2015 examining the crisis as portrayed in the media and investigated ways architects have responded to this urgent need, drawing on local and overseas examples.
A sneak preview. A vessel ‘beached’ on a ledge above Taylor’s Mistake Bay. A twin timber hull, boards cladding both roof and walls. A small interior courtyard. Carefully detailed cabinetry the contents of the vessel. These are some of the ideas contained in this new house at Taylor’s Mistake.
It is a closed-form design, where plan, section and detail use a language of containment. Materials are expressed as wholes, not as parts.
With New Zealand almost into the icy grip of winter it’s also film festival time. This year Resene is working with Rialto Cinemas and Clearly & Co to bring us the fourth Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival.
The movies are divided into four separate spheres: Architectural Perspectives, Design Inspiration, Experiments in Space, and Greenscapes.
My must-see picks for this year are screenings of two Sir Ian Athfield movies: Architect of Dreams directed by Geoffrey Cawthorn and Architect Athfield directed by Sam Neill.
The festival is screening in three New Zealand locations:
Wellington – The Embassy Theatre – 28 May – 10 Jun 2015
Dunedin – Rialto Cinemas Dunedin – 11 Jun – 21 Jun 2015
Christchurch – Academy Gold – 25 Jun – 8 Jul 2015
I am very pleased to welcome Corin Anderson to the studio as our new Architectural Technician.
Corin is Ngai Tahu; he grew up in Dunedin and Queenstown, and trained at Otago Polytechnic, graduating as an Architectural Technician.
He has worked in Christchurch for several years gaining experience in construction and architecture, and contributing to the rebuild. He finds working in Christchurch challenging but fulfilling. He particularly enjoys the relationships he’s built within the construction industry. His ambition is to become an architect; applying his talents in a design-focused practice is an essential step toward that goal.
Corin arrived in the studio mid-February, bringing with him a desire to refine and craft architectural detail and contribute to the success of projects, which aligns with our aim to think hard about space, and love the potential of architecture.
Photograph: Chrissy Irvine