New Zealand. We’re very close to a place called Arrowtown, a delightful gold rush village. Today is the first time I’ve actually visited this site. It has a beautiful aspect – views to the South through trees (the Japanese call this aspect Shirawage and it’s more highly valued than views without trees.) We’ve spent the morning getting to know the site, the earth, the local materials and crafts available. The local stone is Schist, which will certainly feature in the structure and will assist in creating “thermal mass”, a part of the building that can retain the sun’s heat during then day so it can be released again when the outside temperature cools at night. We will embrace local materials and crafts so the building is as much “of its place” as possible. We’ve been researching a geothermal heating system that can be done on this site. It will involve bore holes (about 10cm …
July 18, 2011
July 13, 2011
Okay, in the debate of whether I should participate or not, the pros obviously won. Of course, I was the ultimate adjudicator, and there were several reasons I voted to act as judge on this prime time TV program dedicated to architecture and design. Firstly, I was really impressed by the rigour of the recruiting process. Production company Granada went out of its way to locate highly credible architects and designers from around the country, all at the beginning of their respective careers – that is, the kind of folk most likely to bring fresh ideas and solutions to the curveball problems thrown at them every week of the show’s existence. But also, the kind of people who understand how to make a project viable in real terms, not just come up with fantasy propositions. I’m a notorious anti-DIYer, and the fact that Top Design wanted to include me, a trained, award-winning architect …
July 7, 2011
As it stands today, Tobias Partners has 27 projects up and running. And each week we plan to give you an insider peek at one of these, at various stages of development. Of course, we love seamless finishes, best quality material and the streamlined, clean lines of our finished homes and commercial sites. But we also love the process, the getting there, with all the grime and dust and sweat that comes with it. Architecture isn’t just about glamorous homes and glossy mag lifestyles; it’s about finding real solutions to everyday issues – and making life better along the way.
Project: A five level home, and an adaptive re-use of a post-war apartment block Location: Ben Buckler Point, Bondi Handover date: mid 2013
So, that’s it for today. All that remains to be resolved is the great cappuccino debate. But we’re on it, trust me.
July 6, 2011
Why a blog? And if a blog, why now?
The question is an obvious one, but one that any person about to give over a significant chunk of his time to recounting his professional – and even private – life must inevitably ask himself.
Here’s the thing: After nearly 12 years in the business and with over 100 commissions to its credit, Tobias Partners has evolved to a point where we’ve broken through the cloistered walls of the architectural profession and begun to put down roots in the culture at large. At any one of our weekly meetings, my team of 17 architects, designers and I get together to discuss what’s on our minds: anything from media reaction to our controversial conversion of a heritage-listed harbour-side homestead (read the story here), to our latest coastal site with heavy challenges – Whale Beach. Or any one of the twenty-seven projects we’re working on right now. …