Our house is about 110 years old. It's a bit of a squeeze at 90sqm for a growing family of 4. All the space in the house somehow got lost over the years in dusty corners and musty walls.
Now the house is still old but it’s also cosy, warmer, lighter and with room enough to stretch our arms after a nice meal. And you could probably swing a cat if you were that way inclined. (No cats were harmed during the design phase)
The renovations involved removing a structural wall between the lounge and the kitchen, design and construction of a brand new kitchen (including custom joinery), insertion of a brand new window, removal of old doors, small upgrade to the bathroom, new laundry space, associated plumbing and electrical work.
Here's what I did:
• Obtained Owner-Designer exemption from DBH
• Sized structural members (NZS3604)
• Obtained Building Consent
• Engaged services of all contractors
• Selected and purchased all non-construction materials and elements
• Managed contractors
• Financial control
• Quality control
• Designed the kitchen and had it manufactured to specs
• Helped the builder
It turned out pretty good.
Because every kid, big and small, needs a place to monkey around. And the big kid needed to scratch a design itch.
In August 2014, deNada, a now retired local fashion label, moved its Wellington retail space to a new location at 187 Featherston St.
The building owner appointed a contractor to refurbish the space. I worked with deNada on the design of the space as well as liaised with the contractor to deliver the job on time in a tight time schedule of only 3.5 weeks.
When the going got tough I pulled up my sleeves and worked along deNada’s own builder to complete the work on time.
All furniture and lighting was designed by me in close collaboration with the client (ok so she’s my wife but we still ran this project in a client/consultant arrangement so that I could get some practice)
My little people grew out of their cots pretty quickly. They needed some place to sleep and I needed to make something.
Initially I made just one as a prototype and the kids top and tailed for a while but the prototype turned out to be so successful that I had to make another bed quickly or there was going to be a fight on my hands.
These beds were designed on good old fashioned paper, modelled in Revit and manufactured straight from Revit on a CNC router. Some assembly (involving lots of elbow grease, filing, varnishing, gluing and sweating) was required. But I loved every minute of it, except for sanding, that bit sucks.
We work from home a lot. We needed a nice place to work. We had a “spare” room but it wasn’t very nice. It is now a nice space to work in. We enjoy it.
Bonus material: there is another awesome closet in this room but you’ve probably seen enough closets already. Bottom line is we don’t ever see any cables or other computer junk.
These diagrams are a part of self-directed work to explore and understand what makes good human-centric habitats. The sketches revolve around the themes of collective living, space making, sustainability and resilience.
I believe that with further research these ideas could become a cohesive set of substantiated principles that could be used as a starting point for designing human-centric habitats.
PacMan, Ghosts’n’Goblins, Ye Are Kung Fu, Street Fighter, R-Type, Galaxian, Bubble Bobble, Rastan, Rygar, Bad Dudes, Double Dragon, Moon Patrol, Tetris, Space Invaders, Rampage, Metal Slug, Flying Shark, Elevator Action, Altered Beast…
This is my interpretation of the classic 8-bit cabinet. The style and proportions are all there as are the games but it’s been gently scaled down to fit into a modest kiwi study, where the next generation can train their reflexes for the coming zombie apocalypse.
There is still a bit of finishing work to be done on the cabinet and I hope to complete it before the zombie apocalypse, but in the mean time we can actually use it to hone our reflexes.
We had a closet. It was small. Really small. In fact it was so small that we had a choice to either use the sliding doors but have the clothes heaped on the floor inside or keep our clothes on coat hangers and not have the doors. We chose option three: make get a new closet!
This was my first big carpentry/joinery project and it involved learning a lot about tolerances, materials, construction, moving and reframing doors, crooked old houses and the beauty of recycled timber (and the blood and sweat that it takes, literally, to clean it up).
I’ve disliked the crumbling old concrete stairs since ages ago. Every time I came home they taunted me with their uneven treads, random height risers and ugly, chipped edges. So when the front of the house started falling apart and the porch was gonna go too there was only one thing for it - make new stairs!
Kids. They have stuff. Lots of it. Just where do they get it from? It’s a mystery. One thing is sure though: it doesn’t magically disappear. There was only one thing for it then: build a magical kid stuff disappearing device.
This project had plenty of challenges, from crooked, out of plumb walls, wonky out of level floors to running out of timber to clad the closet.
As with my other closet project all timber was recycled. This lot came from an old shed somewhere in the Wairarapa. The boards were of the bevel back variety so I had to make a jig to cut off the bevels. It was a bit of a mission but it turned out great.
Ōtaki Beach is an example of a small town by the sea romanticised by many New Zealanders, yet it suffers for not being able to grow without resorting to greenfield development and subdivision. Its coarse urban grain and wide roads prioritise cars and promote a sprawl of low-density, impermeable suburban blocks. Still, the old houses have their charm.
This thesis explores how we can grow the population of Ōtaki Beach without resorting to further greenfield development. Early design experiments centred on large multi-residential structures sited in surrounding landscapes. The final proposal though, developed in the context of adaptive reuse, focuses on exploring the potential of a single block that serves as an example.
The design experiments led to three main strategies. Firstly, unification of existing outdoor spaces generates shared landscape. Secondly, transverse pathways add permeability and refine block grain. Thirdly, selective preservation, unification and vertical stacking of existing structures constitute the formal strategy that increases density without consuming more land and gives rise to a specific architectural expression.
Final design achieves: 4-fold increase in density, taking it from 63 people/km2 to over 252 people/km2; refined block grain and permeability, by growing the number of public pathways from zero to three; over 3000m2 of shared landscape.