Monday, August 4, 2014

Introducing our new issue and brand-new website.

We like you blogspot, we really do ... but it's time to introduce you to our beautiful new website at Check it out now for behind-the-scenes shots of the creation of our latest Global Villages issue (on newsstands now!) with guest editor Karen Walker. We'll be updating the new site daily from now on, but this will be our last post on this site. See you on the other side!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nat Cheshire talks about the design of the beautiful 'Parison' pendant

We've just made this short web film featuring Nat Cheshire and Emily Priest of Cheshire Architects talking about the design of the gorgeous 'Parison' pendant for Resident, the winner of our furniture and lighting Design Awards 2014. In it, they talk about the design process, the joys of being a designer in New Zealand, and Cheshire Architects' ambitions to "redesign entire cities" and "build whole worlds".  

A big thank you to our Design Awards sponsors, Fisher & Paykel, for their support of great New Zealand design. And congratulations again to Nat and the Cheshire Architects team!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tickets are on sale now for our inaugural Kitchen Design Day with Blum

We're delighted to invite you to our inaugural Kitchen Design Day, which we're holding in conjunction with our friends at Blum, the specialists in top-quality kitchen hardware.

Modelled on our successful Style Safaris, our Kitchen Design Day is an all-day event that incorporates showroom visits, the latest news in kitchen appliances, new trends from Europe, and information-rich design briefings from expert kitchen designers (including international kitchen design award-winner Morgan Cronin, one of whose designs is shown in the image below).

Tickets for the day are $75 (the price includes transport between destinations and food and drinks), and numbers are limited to 50. The event is being held in Auckland and is hosted by HOME editor Jeremy Hansen. It'll be a perfect day full of inspiration for anyone planning a new kitchen, so book your tickets now at the link here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Presenting NZ's best new furniture in our annual Design Awards (with our new partners Fisher & Paykel).

Every year we're delighted to showcase New Zealand's best new furniture and lighting in our annual Design Awards - and this year, we're delighted to present the finalists and winner to you in conjunction with our new Design Awards partners, Fisher & Paykel. 

First, meet the designers in our competition (who you can also see in this issue of the magazine). They are (from left) Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects; Nathan Goldsworthy of Goldsworthy; Tim Webber of Tim Webber Design; Simon James of Resident; Nigel Groom and Emma Fox-Derwin of Well-Groomed Fox; and Timothy John of Timothy John Design. They were photographed by Toaki Okano at Auckland's White Studios on May 7.

And now to the objects in our competition. The winner of the 2014 Design Awards is Cheshire Architects for the 'Parison' pendant for Resident (below), an elegant mix of the hand-made and the digital (it's made when a bubble of layered molten glass is mouth-blown into a computer-cut mould of water-soaked cherrywood). The pendant has already debuted at the Milan furniture fair as part of the Resident collection, and we're delighted to feature it here. 

And here are our other finalists, in no particular order: first, the 'Pi' table (below) by Paris-based designer Roderick Fry, an ingeniously simple trestle leg system that flat-packs for shipping but holds a range of table tops with perfect stability. 

Nathan Goldsworthy's beautiful 'Ballet' chairs and 'Ballerina' tables (below) were produced as part of a collaboration with Backhouse Interiors and Designworks. The chairs and table are crafted from laminated ash, and the chairs are upholstered in wool. 

Emma Fox-Derwin and Nigel Groom of Wellington's Well-Groomed Fox created the handsome 'Notch' pendant lights (below), which have a raw, matte depth thanks to their colour being part of the ceramic rather than a glaze applied later.

Designer Timothy John created the 'Handmade' range (below) - which includes the 'Bowler' light, 'Splay' table and 'Nordic' chair - for Paper Plane, the design store he co-owns in Mount Maunganui. All the designs are hand-crafted by Nigel Cotterill. The chair and light are made from solid American ash, and the table is available in ash or laminate versions.

Auckland-based Tim Webber created the 'Duffle' ottoman, a sturdy piece of furniture that references the classic bag. It's upholstered in wool with a simple rope drawstring. 

Last but certainly not least is Simon James' 'Pick Up Sticks' chair for Resident, with a solid oak frame and detachable, wool-upholstered component, allowing retailers to stock the frames and the wool seats to be made to order. 

A huge thank you from us to all the designers who entered, and congratulations to the team at Cheshire Architects and the other finalists. We're also delighted at the support Fisher & Paykel are giving to New Zealand design by supporting our awards programme. 

Our shoot was photographed by Toaki Okano, and styled by Kendyl Middelbeek and Samantha Totty. You can read more details about the entrants in our special winter issue of the magazine.

New Zealand at the Venice Architecture Biennale

The Venice Architecture Biennale begins later this week, and includes New Zealand's first-ever exhibition at this prestigious event (an initiative led by the New Zealand Institute of Architects). In our February issue, we spoke to David Mitchell of Mitchell and Stout Architects, the creative director of the New Zealand exhibition, about what they're planning for the show.

David Mitchell (centre) with the other creators of New Zealand's first-ever exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale. From left, back row: Mike Austin, Claire Natusch, Sara Lee Chia-lin, Julian Mitchell, Frances Cooper, Rick Pearson and Ginny Pedlow. Front row, from left: Julie Stout, David Mitchell and Rau Hoskins. Photograph by Jane Ussher.

HOME What is your team planning for your exhibition at the architecture biennale?
DAVID MITCHELL, CREATIVE DIRECTOR [Dutch architect] Rem Koolhaas is the overall creative director this year, and he’s chosen the theme ‘Fundamentals’, which addresses the evolution of national architectures in the last century. He’s saying that modernity is taking over everything – that there’s an increasing homogeneity in architecture around the world. He’s probably right in general, but we think there’s a Pacific gene in New Zealand architecture that has got more distinctive over the last 100 years. It shows in light post-and-beam and panel structures, often with big roofs. We cross over between the Pacific and the European.

So will you convey these ideas in a structure, or an exhibition format?
We’ll have our own room in a palazzo to work within. One of our key pieces is going to be a brand new pataka which is being carved at this moment. It stands on a pole and is the first thing visitors to the exhibition will meet – a Pacific structure if ever there was. Then we’ll have a whare-like, or house-like tent structure within the space, the walls of which will show images of New Zealand buildings that back up our thesis about how deeply lightweight structures inform New Zealand architecture. These images could include wooden houses of the 1950s, the Waitomo Caves Visitor Centre, holiday homes by Herbst Architects, Wellington’s Futuna Chapel, Christchurch’s Cardboard Cathedral – a Pacific structure by an architect of sufficient prominence to get noticed around the world – and the Auckland Art Gallery, which won World Building of the Year. It couldn’t be a better moment to showcase New Zealand architecture. 

Your exhibition will be called ‘Last, Loneliest, Loveliest’. Where does the name come from?
It’s a quote from Kipling, written about Auckland. We like it because it implies a lot about what makes New Zealand’s situation unique. 

The Venice Architecture Biennale runs June 7 to November 23 You can read more about the New Zealand exhibition and see video of David Mitchell presenting the exhibition concept at this link.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Our new issue has winter goodness aplenty

Our winter issue is on newsstands RIGHT NOW and we're quite excited about all that it contains. First, here's the cover: a photograph by Simon Devitt of an amazing small home by Pattersons on the northern end of Banks Peninsula. Beautiful!

Here's a photograph by Simon Devitt of the home itself (below) in its spectacular setting:

Also in this issue, we visit a couple of remarkable New Zealand expats. Music manager Debbi Gibbs lives in Manhattan, but spends weekends on the New Jersey lakeside in this prefabricated home by Resolution: 4 Architecture (the home was mostly built in a factory and trucked to the site in four pieces). The photograph below, featuring Debbi and her son Blake, is by Emily Andrews.

Emily Andrews also visited London for this issue, where she photographed the flat of Christchurch-born interior designer Christopher Hall (below) who divides his time between the English capital and his homes in Istanbul (where he also designs furniture, including all the pieces in this photo) and Riyadh, where has has some major interior design commissions under way. He's a fascinating and very successful designer, and we're delighted to feature him in this issue.

Also in this issue! A delightful home (below) by Michael O'Sullivan (who also designed our 2011 Home of the Year on Kare Kare Beach) on Waiheke Island - it's warm, woody and economical, and well worth a closer look. The photo is by Simon Devitt.

And in Christchurch, we visit a vintage delight, a wonderful 1968 home (below) by Warren & Mahoney that is now owned (and adored) by Matthew Arnold of the design firm Sons & Co and his wife Kate. It was photographed by Samuel Hartnett. 

And let's not forget that this is our annual Design Awards issue, featuring the work of New Zealand's best furniture designers (brought to you this year by our new awards partner, Fisher & Paykel). Here's a group shot of them by Toaki Okano (below), and you can check out their fantastic work in the mag.

Our Design Awards finalists are (from left): Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects, Nathan Goldsworthy, Tim Webber, Simon James, Nigel Groom and Emma Fox-Derwin of Wellington's Well-Groomed Fox, and Timothy John. Look out for more of their designs in the magazine and in a subsequent post. In the meantime, enjoy our new issue!

Friday, May 9, 2014

More great picks from the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival

More on the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival. This time, HOME senior designer and stylist Kendyl Middelbeek reveals her picks from the festival programme.


"I'm constantly caught between being a maximalist and hating clutter, so watching people fold their lives into the petite homes in TINY: A Story About Living Small (trailer above) promises to be fascinating. It seems particularly poignant at the moment, give our recent HOME of the Year winner is so diminutive!

"My favourite episodes of Mad Men are when Don Draper spends a debauched weekend in Palm Springs - I re-watched the episode twice just to screenshot all the home and interiors. It’s the closest I’ve gotten to visiting the place, so the film Desert Utopia: Midcentury Architecture in Palm Springs (trailer above) is going to nicely stoke my obsesson. 

"The Oil Rocks – City Above the Sea
 is kind of a wild card for me, but I’m fascinated by the Soviet era, and by anything built on the constantly moving surface of the ocean (like the small cities constructed inside jet fighter carriers), so I've put this film (trailer above) on my list too."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Top picks for the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival

As many of you hopefully already know, the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival is starting today at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket in Auckland (until May 21), before opening at The Embassy in Wellington (May 29 to June 11) and at Rialto Cinemas Dunedin (June 12-22).

You can download a PDF of the programme here. And you can book tickets here. (Wellingtonians: please note you should use the link to the Event Cinemas website).

Over the next few days we'll tell you our picks from the festival lineup - all the films are tantalising, but we've got to be in the office some of the time, so we'll tell you which movies are at the top of our lists. 

Here are some of HOME editor Jeremy Hansen's picks:

"I'm crazy about the work of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the Japanese firm SANAA, especially after going to see their Museum of 21st Century Art in  Kanazawa a few years ago (do you like how I dropped that in?). So I'm really excited about seeing The Interior Passage, a documentary about the making of their Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland (left), an incredible-looking building that creates its own kind of terrain. It also sounds like the documentary is an interesting look at the pressures of creating such an avant-garde building, and how architectural vision gets tested by the realities of budget pressures and engineering challenges."

"I saw If You Build It (that's the trailer above) at the festival opening night, and although it wouldn't quite have made my original list, it was fantastic and really uplifting and I think everyone should see it. In it, two designers take over the workshop programme at a high school in a downtrodden country in North Carolina, and lead their students on a fantastic journey that has a heart-warming and lasting effect on the entire town. Lots of people in the audience were crying, as it's impossible not to be moved by this film. 

"I can never see too much of the work of the great modernist architect Richard Neutra, and this documentary, The Oyler House: Richard Neutra's Desert Retreat, (trailer above) which focuses one on of his lesser-known homes, looks irresistible. It's just 48 minutes long, so it screens with Desert Utopia: Midcentury Architecture in Palm Springs - a double-bill that's sure to satiate even the most ravenous modernists.

"I'm also excited about seeing the documentary about the great Japanese architect Tadao Ando: From Emptiness to Infinity because Ando's works are so fantastic, and any insight into how he creates them has got to be a good thing.

"And while it isn't about architecture, the idea of a fashion documentary featuring Givenchy, Dior, Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin along with Andy Warhol, Christina Onassis, Liza Minnelli, Josephine Baker and Rudolf Nureyev all getting together for an epic fashion show at Versailles just sounds too amazing to be true. The film's called Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution and pits the French against American designers including Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein and Bill Blass. It looks like the kind of thing that anyone interested in fashion should see."  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Modern furniture fans have a treat in store

Modern furniture fans have some treats coming up, with big auctions planned in May at Auckland auction houses Webb's and Art + Object. 

Webb's are collaborating for the fifth time with modern furniture specialists Mr. Bigglesworthy, who not only source the best mid-century New Zealand furniture, but import great discoveries from the UK and US as well.

The auction is being held at Webb's on May 15 at 6.30pm, with a preview event on May 8 at 6.30pm. 

Here are some of the highlights from the upcoming auction:

The 'Goldola' sofa (above) was designed by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates. 

The 'B40' teak sideboard (above) is by Dieter Waeckerlin for Behr Mobel.

And this 'Mr' chair and ottoman (above) is by George Mulhauser for Plycraft. You can see the full catalogue of treasures here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Design Awards 2014 Call for Entries

Designers! Each year our Design Awards programme features the best New Zealand furniture and homeware - and now's your chance to enter to ensure your design reaches the country's most engaged readers.

All you need to do to enter is send up to five images (from a variety of angles) of the furniture or object(s) you've designed, along with a 250-word statement about the project's aims and its designers. You can email your entries to or courier them to HOME magazine, Bauer Media, Shed 12, CityWorks Depot, 77 Cook Street, Auckland 1010.

Entries at due by 5pm, Tuesday April 15.

We'll choose a shortlist of finalist from the entries and have them photographed for inclusion in our June/July issue, on newsstands June 2. 

We look forward to showcasing more of the work of New Zealand's best designers.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Amanda Levete on the Home of the Year

Given all the attention our Home of the Year is getting, we thought many of you might be interested in hearing some of the thinking behind the jury's decisions. 

The Home of the Year jury was made up of HOME editor Jeremy Hansen, Gary Lawson of four-time Home of the Year winners Stevens Lawson Architects, and Stirling Prize-winning London architect Amanda Levete. 

Here, Jeremy talks to Amanda about the judging process. This interview was conducted in mid-March, soon after judging of the Home of the Year was complete. 

Architect Amanda Levete. Photo: Peter Guenzel.
JEREMY HANSEN Let’s start by talking about the winning project: Eyrie, the black cabins by Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects.

AMANDA LEVETE That project was very finely tuned, such a poetic response to its site. It was a complete merging of idea and form. And there’s a narrative behind it that’s as poetic as its realisation. The idea that an architect would negotiate with planners to allow a smaller and much more modest footprint on the site is a fantastic inversion of expectations: it captures the mood of the world right now by demonstrating a greater respect for modesty and a reining in of consumerism. It shows how much you can do with so little and still hold such resonance.

The landscape it’s situated in was not the most beautiful or most dramatic of the sites we saw – far from it – but it had a sensibility of its own. You could sense this through the success of the dialogue between the client and the architect. It felt like there was a complete synergy between architect and client, and that is quite rare. It feels like the relationship with the client pushed the architect to go beyond his repertoire and explore ideas and an attitude that perhaps hadn’t been expressed in his work before. You need that input from a client, you need that challenge – and you need that energy and inspiration to make your work better. It’s those kind of relationships and moments that push an architect to develop and become great.

The cabins were beautifully detailed in a very simple way but every move, every line held the idea of the house. The tiny brass recessed kitchen area, which was like a little jewel in this simple black container, lifted it from being prosaic to something exceptional. The cabinets around the kitchen, which used a crude black-painted form-board, had chamfered edges that revealed the colour of the ply behind it, a tiny shadow line that, because the space was black, had a lustre almost like there was a light behind it. And what was so revealing about that space was that it was a black interior and black exterior but it didn’t feel oppressive. You were drawn into the space by the light and felt uplifted and serene and at one with the world and with nature.

The Home of the Year 2014, designed by Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects.
Photo: Darryl Ward.

JEREMY HANSEN What made the other homes worthy of inclusion? Let’s go from north to south, and start with the house by Herbst Architects. 

AMANDA LEVETE This house expressed very clearly how the forces of nature can drive design, with a clever layering of openings between indoor and outdoor spaces. There was a very strong relationship between a deep gabion wall and the passage between the bedrooms and the main spaces of the house, an outside but protected area that reinforced it as a beach house, so whatever the weather and time of year, you have to go outside to get inside, and that was very charming.

The Castle Rock House by Herbst Architects. Photo: Patrick Reynolds.
JEREMY HANSEN On Waiheke Island we visited a home by Wendy Shacklock. What did you enjoy about that?

AMANDA LEVETE This was an incredibly difficult site and a huge amount of thought had gone into exploring ways in which you could liberate it. That’s been achieved in a way that appears effortless, thanks to much of the site engineering being invisible – but it was far from straightforward. There was also a delicacy about the use of materials and the contrast between the solidity and brutality of the concrete wall and the openness of the elevations looking down at the water. The clients wanted the house to feel like a nest, and it did feel very protective and precarious at the same time. 

Te Kohanga, a home on Waiheke Island designed by Wendy Shacklock in association with Paul Clarke. Photo: Samuel Hartnett.
JEREMY HANSEN How about the small house by Andrew Simpson?  

AMANDA LEVETE This was a studio house, just 50 square metres in which every little square foot was accounted for and exploited. There was a wonderful, huge opening up of a view on a very difficult site. What I loved was the ambition and endeavour that was invested into such a complicated site. That endeavour was palpable and real – the architect built much of the interior – and it shows again how much you can achieve with a modest budget, which is always refreshing. 

The Nine Tsubo House by Andrew Simpson of Wiredog Architecture.
Photo: Paul McCredie.
JEREMY HANSEN On Banks Peninsula, we visited the Scrubby Bay Farmhouse by Pattersons.

AMANDA LEVETE I found this house incredibly beautiful. Proportionally there was a real kind of magic about the delicacy of these barn-like forms that just slipped one in front of the other in a strong sectional relationship sited in a completely spectacular bay. The plan of the house was understated and restrained, and that restraint was very powerful when matched by such a spectacular backdrop. The house also made beautiful use of wood, with a subtle scent of the macrocarpa cladding inside that was just magic for me.

The Scrubby Bay Farmhouse by Pattersons. Photo: Simon Devitt
JEREMY HANSEN We saw homes on beautiful sites, but the suburban house by LO'CA in Wanaka was different.  

AMANDA LEVETE This is a house for a retired couple with a brief that was far from glamorous, but the architects managed to lift it by creating a kind of respect for the span of a couple’s life, and I was very touched by that. It wasn’t just the clever planning but the way in which the clients’ lives – their past as well as their future and the present – were mapped into the planning; I’ve never seen that done before. It made me think how important houses are as containers for your life and your history. Some of the houses we saw had an absence of the soul of the owners, and a house needs soul. This one had it.

The Lovell House by Tim Lovell and Ana O'Connell of Lovell O'Connell Architects.
Photo: Patrick Reynolds.

JEREMY HANSEN This is your first visit to New Zealand. What are your impressions of the country's architecture after a week here?

AMANDA LEVETE It’s clear that the bach is a powerful genre, and we’ve seen it interpreted differently in extraordinary settings that are very particular to New Zealand. There is an incredible and inventive use of woods, which has been inspiring to me, and makes me want to explore that in our own work. But I worry that there’s a kind of complacency in New Zealand’s architecture. I have seen some of the most spectacular sites in the world on this trip and some of the most extraordinary pieces of landscape – I don’t think I’ll ever see anything more beautiful. With that goes a huge responsibility to respond with an ambition that matches that drama and the beauty of the location. That responsibility is sometimes taken too much for granted. I think architects need to remind themselves what a privilege it is to design in a piece of nature that is unsurpassable.

Clients, too, need to have that same sense of ambition and responsibility in selecting their architect and in their own briefs. It’s not just about designing a house. You have to respond to the magnitude and power of nature at its most beautiful. Houses are relatively modest in scale but historically they have defined an architectural era, and not enough architects here feel that sense of potential. Architecture here is quite self-referential and it shouldn’t be, because what we’ve seen in this last week is a fantastic abundance of talent and inventiveness and clever thinking. Architects in New Zealand should be more ambitious in terms of their place internationally – you have a great tradition of house design that could be defining and having an influence on the rest of the world.

JEREMY HANSEN Lastly, do you have any thoughts about awards like this in general?

AMANDA LEVETE The Home of the Year award is important because it’s not just about applauding excellence; it’s about marking turning points in architects’ careers. The purpose of awards is to recognise talent and to lift the standards and advance the debate. The cross-section of projects we’ve selected for this, the Home of the Year issue, is testament to all of that.  

Amanda Levete travelled to New Zealand thanks to the support of Altherm Window Systems, our Home of the Year sponsor.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Home of the the 2014 - the winner!

Congratulations to Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects, who designed Eyrie, the twin cabins on an inlet of the Kaipara Harbour that have won our 19th Home of the Year award. Here's our new cover, featuring a photograph by Jeremy Toth.

Jeremy Toth also shot this fantastic short web film of the winning homes for us - watch it here, and enjoy! Thanks, as always, to our sponsors, Altherm Window Systems.

Home Of The Year 2014
from Jeremy Toth on Vimeo.

Home of the Year 2014 - the finalists

Tonight's the night we announce our 19th annual Home of the Year award. We're delighted to present the six finalists for the award for you here. 

As always, the winning architects will received a $15,000 first prize, thanks to our award sponsors Altherm Window Systems. 

The award was judged by our Home of the Year jury - HOME editor Jeremy Hansen, Gary Lawson of Auckland's Stevens Lawson Architects, and Stirling Prize-winning London architect Amanda Levete - who visited all the shortlisted homes in early March to make their selection of the winner and finalists. 

The winner and all the finalists will be in our Home of the Year issue, on newsstands from Thursday April 3.  And you can check back here at 7.30pm this evening to see our short web film of the winning home.

Here are the finalists, from north to south:

The Castle Rock House (above) is a holiday home at Whangarei Heads by Herbst Architects, who designed our Home of the Year 2012 winner. The photograph is by Patrick Reynolds. 

Eyrie by Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects is a pair of almost-identical cabins (above) on an inlet of the Kaipara Harbour. The photograph is by Darryl Ward.

This Waiheke Island home (above) was designed by Wendy Shacklock Architects in association with Paul Clarke. The photograph is by Samuel Hartnett.

This 50-square-metre home (above) in Wellington was designed by Andrew Simpson of Wiredog Architecture for himself and his partner, Krysty Peebles. The photograph is by Paul McCredie.

This farmhouse (above) on an isolated bay on Banks Peninsula was designed by Pattersons, and photographed by Simon Devitt.

And this home in Wanaka for a retired couple was designed by Tim Lovell and Ana O'Connell of Lovell O'Connell Architects.

We're delighted with the inventiveness and variety of this year's finalists. Remember to check out much more coverage of all these homes in our Home of the Year issue.