The days are shortening, the weather is cooling off and those crisp blue skied days are upon us again! This issue of the Equinox News celebrates our first year of publishing these lovely missives and Equinox’s 26th year in operation! No mean feat in these fickle times, and we are justifiably proud of ourselves.
The ink is drying on EQ Magazine as we write, and our inaugural issue seems like a great way to start out the next leg of our journey as a company. This season we look at the upcoming goodness for the year to come, as well as introducing a seasonal recipe, 10 Questions with Nat Cheshire and a rental home beautification tip of goodness – so as always, sit back, relax and enjoy.
Nat is 1/2 of the directorial team at Cheshire Architects, the wonderful people who have designed the Orakei Bay Village Plaza and Waterfront apartments. Here he answers our burning questions:
1.The Oud Lamp is beautiful; what is generally the first step of your design process when making objects?
With product projects like this we often start by reaching into the unfinished business of the past, and trying to leverage than building our vision of the future. JJP Oud made an exquisitely cantilevered bronze piano lamp in the 1920s. We thought it extraordinary. Its principle of instability and weight had barely been pursued since, and the idea of a discontinued experiment is always exciting to discover, and we pushed outward from there. We found strong parallels in revolutionary Russian Constructivism during that same period. Through that lens we saw the plan of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion as a vision of dynamic stability. Its palatte of stone and fine metal seemed to exaggerate that tension. Similarly, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’s recent, radical CCTV building in Beijing began to look like an experiment in the same field. That was enough to get us an agenda: to build an object that was unfamiliar, poised in imbalance, crafted from old world materials and reaching simultaneously into both past and future. That all sounds fairly convoluted, but the ideas don’t come from a thunderbolt in the sky…
2. Who/what is inspiring you at the moment?
This city. I grew up in a city I was embarrassed for. I live now in a city that is impossibly exciting. The change of the last four years has been breathtaking. I get to do things here I wouldn’t get to do anywhere else in the world. I am surrounded by people with the same sense of opportunity and urgency. Even the Council has aggregated itself into a focused, ambitious, urgent beast. It feels almost unreal, like a fragile parallel universe, so our job is to make it real as fast as humanely possible, before anyone can take it away from us. That’s enough to keep me going in the middle of the night.
3. Favourite author and/or book?
Impossible…it’s like the design influences: a thousand contradictions. Generally early and mid-20th Century American fiction. I have never read a sports autobiography, but sought out Agassi’s ‘Open’ and read that on Saturday. It is astonishing. That’s the last thing I read.
4. Biggest design influences overall?
My hungers have always been defined by their contradictions. In painting I was as energised by furious decadent mess of Schnabel as I was the profoundly beautiful meditations of Judd or the emotional melodrama of Barnett Newman. Architecture is no different – I am as engrossed by the craft and thoughtful mastery of Peter Zumthor as I am energized by revolutionary ambitions of Rem Koolhaas or the relentless inventiveness of the Japanese avante-garde. I grew up with Pip Cheshire, and am profoundly shaped by his commitment to a hard-core of values energised by an insatiable passion for the extraordinary, irrespective of its form.
5. Ideal design project?
Cathedral or Carpark…I don’t care – we’re only interested in the scale of ambition, an appetite for the extraordinary. I guess I do see the hotel as a natural evolution of the breadth and depth of our studio’s work. From the city block to the teaspoon, we try and make entire worlds. That’s what hotels are: entire worlds, philosophies for living captured in one place, from first recognition of a distant silhouette or a digital portal, to the smell of the linen when you peel back the sheets. The whole thing has the potential of an opera. So a hotel would be exciting.
Line a 25cm square cake tin or roasting pan with baking paper (no need to grease).
Beat the butter and sugars with a food processor or by hand until light and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg to prevent curdling. Mix well after each addition. Reserve 1/2 cup flour for later.
Add the cinnamon, mixed spice, salt, cocoa and vanilla extract. Mix well.Add the grated zucchini, yoghurt and chocolate chips. Mix well.
The final mixture should be just wet enough to pour into the tin. If it is too wet, mix in some of the reserved 1/2 cup of flour. (A cake with less flour is softer.)
Pour into the lined cake tin or roasting pan and bake for 30-45 minutes until firm and a skewer comes out clean.
Cut when cold. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. (If it doesn’t get eaten first.)
Thomas and Adamson
Thomas and Adamson
We are pleased to announce that our Thomas and Adamson development is only one month away from completion. All houses are sold out. We have also sold 75% of our adjacent Redoubt Ridge development which will commence construction in the next couple of months.
With the release of our apartment blocks Plaza and Waterfront at the start of the year, we have seen incredible interest in the development and are pleased to announce that the Pohutakawa Townhouses are sold out, while the apartments are being snapped up. Stage One Construction is due to take place in July of this year. Locals will have noticed the council works on the boardwalk already underway, and all of this will work in with the road widening operations along Orakei Road.Our sales suite is still open by appointment at 228 Orakei Road, Remuera if you would like to view and haven’t already.
Construction is underway for our showhome at The Grove. With earthworks taking place around this, we are now taking registrations of interest in Stage Two. We anticipate releasing this for sale within the next month, however you are able to secure the house you want with a small deposit in the meantime. With the formidable and enthusiastic Mike Thorpe at the helm, we have succeeded in selling Stage One largely to owner occupiers who are eager to live in this brand new purpose built peaceful community.
Alas, the worlds at risk bee population has been dealt another tiny blow. Our 62 Victoria Street rooftop beehive, previously a hive of humming healthy activity has been infected with a fatal bee disease – American Foul Brood (AFB). This has no affect on human beans (Roald Dahls terminology), so the honey we have thus merrily consumed is fine, but alas eventually proves fatal to the colony. As AFB is infectious to other colonies and impossible to guard against, the only accepted course of action in New Zealand is to kill the hive…and burn all the equipment as the fungal infection lives in the comb. New Zealand is hopeful of eradicating AFB completely, something all bee keepers will look forward to!
A good builder can be hard to find. And no wonder – it seems that the same rules as falling in love apply after chatting to Jos from Artisan Builders about how to find the one.
Meet them! In an initial meeting with your builder you can assess how well you get along (don’t underestimate how important this is to your project), see examples of their work, and find out if they have a lot of repeat clients (a great indication of their proficiency), and just get a general feel of how much they enjoy what they do. Building is a noble profession and loving their job is a common trait of the keepers.
Do they have close relationships with their subcontractors? A good builder must work closely with other tradies, whether yours or the builders. They also need to be able to work closely with your architect, draughtsperson and engineer.
Just like a considerate lover, your builder should remove all messy signs of their presence when they finish the job. Building waste, sawdust, muddy footprints? That’s their job to clean up.
Do they guarantee their work, carry a copy of the Builders Bible (NZS:36042011) with them at all times, and promise to give you much better than retail prices on materials?
A good builder will ALWAYS keep you up to date on expenditure. Issues are bound to arise which necessitate more moolah out the door; they should always discuss this with you and gain approval before putting your budget out of whack.
Communication is the foundation upon which all things good are built; if communication is scarce from the get go, choose another option. Ignore this cardinal rule and you’re in for nothing but confusion, stress and heartache.