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Our design process

This post is based on a lecture I gave to design students at Unitec about my approach to design.

I ran through the design process of a house I designed for Glenn Nelson and Melissa King

I have always kept a the note that Melissa gave me at our first design meeting! Funny on so many levels! Shortest brief in history and very early on she wanted a “lamp” house on a solid base.

We settled on the plan and program very early in the project. Perched on a steep slope we designed a three level home with the master bedroom and the lounge on the upper levels and two guest bedrooms on the ground floor. The building opened to the site as it stepped up the slope.

We framed the roof in steel to get the spans that would keep it light and float above the double height void lounge. As the design progressed it started feeling like the lamp Melissa wanted.

I am not a big fan of flat roofed boxes. Apart from the waterproofing issues that arise with flat roofs, I associate flat box forms with a “universal” approach to space. Rightly or wrongly, I think the problem with flat roofed modernist boxes is that they feel displaced or misplaced. .

I ended up working with Gary Minschull who built the Lemmon house in Seatoun. Nelson and Melissa had fantastic furniture and painting which really made the house feel special when it was finished.