Issue 08 – Fundamentals of Architecture

The Design Guide magazine issue 08


The ‘do up’ and ‘flick on’ culture that seems to define much of New Zealand and Australian housing places our homes at the centre of a business venture, a far cry from the social and urban projects they really are. Perhaps it’s time we move on from our ‘pioneer’ mentality and imagine a community where immediate capital gains wasn’t such a major focus. There are other less obvious – but no less important – priorities, such as quality, adaptability and sustainability, all of which affect costs, too, by lowering maintenance, alterations and energy bills over the lifetime of a building.

In this issue, we return to the fundamentals of house design and how those early decisions affect the ‘fitness’ of a project over the long term. Architects discuss project constraints and opportunities – site and context, brief and budget, climate and construction – and explain their design response with essays, drawings, analyses and photographs. We have chosen projects and topics to stimulate thinking and insight for your building project.

A beautiful photo essay opens the issue and prompts thoughts about simple shelter and timeless forms. Then Auckland architect Graeme Burgess engages us in some of the architectural theory of the last century – lessons learnt and ideas worth revisiting. A tour of classic New Zealand house types follows by Wellington architect Gerald Parsonson, complete with explanatory sketches and built examples. An architecture 101, if you like.

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The Design Guide magazine issue 08 The Design Guide magazine issue 08 The Design Guide magazine issue 08


In our Projects section, the feature story covers the Local House in Melbourne by MAKE Architecture. This project gives priority to urban and civic duty: rather than hide from the world, it actively engages with it, benefiting not only the residents but also the neighbours. The Local House has been so successful that the neighbours’ opposite are planning a similar venture.

The fascinating concept of ‘stealth density’ is discussed by LA architect Barbara Bestor (one of the speakers at this year’s NZIA conference), and Xanthe White takes us through some of the foundational landscape themes in New Zealand gardens.

We conclude with our Design Source section, packed with images of bathrooms, kitchens, great spaces, and winners from the NZ Architecture Awards 2016. Packed with over 125 images and insights from over 20 architects, the issue is full of inspiration and insights to help create better living and better cities.

Andrea Stevens, editor

Kitchen design

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