THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WE HAVE IN ARCHITECTURE IS CREATING MORE INTEGRATED LIVING ENVIRONMENTS.
I grew up in rural Southland and I remember the beautiful heritage streetscapes of Invercargill. Somehow we lost that vision, but I can see it starting to come back. It’s been great to be involved with developments like the new Langland’s Hotel, which will be a renaissance for downtown Invercargill.
Travelling and working overseas has taught me a lot. Places in southern Spain, like the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra, reveal a whole different way of thinking about space. The rich mosaics and intricate patterns reflect the light entering the space, creating a truly magical reality that inspires.
One project I’m proud of is the new Recreation Centre in Wanaka, which I worked on with a previous employer. A public swimming pool is a challenging environment that can be costly to run. One year after opening, participation is 50 percent higher than projected, with running costs that are 30 percent lower. More people are taking part in sport while the owner gets the benefit of efficiency. I also love how it blends seamlessly into the alpine landscape, and the powerful timber structure of the pool hall is both stunningly beautiful and practical.
I’m about to build my own home, and it’s designed with sustainability at the forefront. Gone are the days when you built a big glass box – we’ve got to build more efficiently now. There are still barriers and old ways of thinking but architects and clients can help show a better way.
Living in Queenstown, I enjoy skiing and mountain biking. Having kids means fewer opportunities to travel for now, but I’m simply enjoying the ability to bring what I’ve learned back to my home region.