What strikes you about the Here Awards finalists and winners?
Imogen Tunnicliffe: The importance of an outlook. Points of observation, both modest and grand – peering into other spaces, across to different parts of the building, back into the architecture itself, or out to a breathtaking view. The sites struck me too. Unusual sites. Small or difficult sites. Having to employ innovation and resourcefulness to make the structure and spaces work practically.
David Moreland: The diversity. We have so many different types of landscapes and living environments in Aotearoa that our architecture has to reflect this. All of the finalists are designed specifically for their environment and work beautifully.
Got a favourite? Go on.
IT: I’m drawn to the Patchwork ‘Shed’ for the beautiful positioning, golden light-filled spaces, and because of a longing for the life that I imagine would be lived there. The Glamuzina bach in Tairua and its brave use of colour really excites me. But I keep coming back to McKinney, the calm, warm natural palette and minimal – but not cold – textural style.
DM: I do really love the ‘Super Taper’ house by Jack McKinney. The material juxtaposition between the inside and outside is surprising and beautiful. Can I have one please?
We really loved the attention to making and craft. How does this inspire your work?
IT: It’s always the beginning of the creative process for me. I’m really interested in the process of making, and am most comfortable when creating in an elementary, tactile sort of way.
How something is going to be made is as important as the design itself. One thing informs the other equally. The limitations, or the unexpected possibilities, can completely change the end result.
How does our architecture influence what you do?
IT: Often a feature, a house or space will be the starting point for designing a collection. It might not be the structure itself, but the details – the textures, geometry, forms, colours and materials. For example, I’ve been inspired by the green tiles in the bathroom of the Freemans Bay house for a while now. I look at it almost daily.
DM: I’m often inspired by the materials and forms of our architecture, and find a lot of similarities between what we do. I love the ambiguous translucency of the Tairua house, for example – it actually reminds me a little of the AB light, that constant state of flux.
How do you walk the line between things that are current or new, and things that last?
IT: It’s that push and pull that is interesting – something that feels new and enticing, but has longevity because it is made well, from good materials and has good design at its heart. If you love the craft of designing, you usually end up on the right side of things.
DM: With any new product, we always strive for a timeless and understated aesthetic, with quality materials and a sense of warmth. If we manage to incorporate these then we feel like it will land in a great place.