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Urbis Urbis Aug/Sep 2018

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Published bi-monthly, Urbis features stylish interiors, spaces and objects, fascinating places, interesting people, technology updates and car reviews. Through its sophisticated design, Urbis appeals to design-savvy consumers and style-makers, as well as design and architecture professionals.

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New Zealand
BCI New Zealand Pty Ltd.
Back issues only
$10.21(Incl. tax)

in this issue

1 min.

Here’s to the thinkers and the makers, to the solution-finders and the beautifiers. Here’s to the style-makers and those who appreciate beauty in its many guises. To the architects, and industrial and interior designers, to the purveyors and retailers of magnificent or life-improving objects. To our advertisers, agencies, PR gurus, writers and photographers, to the designers, proofreaders and printers. Here’s to the subscription managers, the distributors, and the retailers and storeowners who have given Urbis a space in their locales. Here’s to the people who have invited us into their homes, to those who have shared their stories and gifted us their time. To those who rotate our artworks, clean our offices and deliver our mail. Twenty years is but an instant in New Zealand’s rich design and publishing history but…

3 min.

SHARON STEPHENSON Sharon writes for a range of magazines and newspapers from her Wellington home. She spent five years in London where she worked for the BBC but, for now, she’s happy to be home. Sharon wrote the Inside Story (page 59). How long have you been contributing to Urbis and what was your first story published there? Since January 2013 and my first story was about colourful office spaces – from Denmark to Auckland. What has been the assignment that has stuck in your mind during that time? The travel stories I did from Vancouver, Hong Kong and Dubai. They weren’t straight travelogues, but involved meeting creatives in the respective regions, including expat Kiwis who now called those places home. It was fascinating to to see how location had moulded their creativity. What is your…

10 min.
hot houses

“That was harder than expected!” seemed to be the most-oft-repeated phrase after we asked some of New Zealand’s leading architects and former Urbis editors to select their favourite home or public space from the last 20 years. We completely understand the sentiment. With such high-calibre structures being designed and built locally in recent years (many of them by the very same people featured here), it is like asking a musician to pick their favourite phrase. Nonetheless, they pulled through with a veritable symphony of influences and expressions. SEASCAPE RETREAT (Banks Peninsula, 2011) by Patterson Associates I came across this house when I was Convenor of the NZIA National Awards. Travelling to it was magical: a lovely drive via Purau and Port Levy to Pigeon Bay, then bumping along on a classic Kiwi 4WD…

4 min.

BEYOND THE STATE: NEW ZEALAND STATE HOUSES FROM MODEST TO MODERN Bill McKay, Andrea Stevens, Simon Devitt, Penguin NZ, 2014 There have been some excellent books on local building types – Villa (2012) and Bungalow (2014) come to mind – and all are must-have books but Beyond the State propelled one of New Zealand’s best critical eyes and consummate wordsmiths, Bill McKay, into his first substantial book. Supported by Stevens and Devitt, McKay examined a 20th-century housing stock that far too many New Zealanders still fail to see as anything more than P-labs and gang houses and, in doing so, overlook one of our greatest architectural assets. THE VILLA AT THE END OF THE EMPIRE/DECLINE & FALL ON SAVAGE STREET Fiona Farrell, Penguin Random House New Zealand, 2015 and 2017 New Zealand novelists tend to…

4 min.
on the shelves

Penny Martin will be speaking at Semi-Permanent, Auckland on Saturday, 10 August, 2018. For tickets and information on the event see semipermanent.com GREAT EXPECTATIONS Charles Dickens, 1860 At secondary school, our history teacher was a bit of a sporting star; she umpired women’s hockey at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and we schoolchildren were big fans. Miss Robertson’s rendition of 19th-century social history was hugely inspiring to me – I must have studied all those prison reforms and voting rights for three or four years. And Great Expectations was the perfect complement to all that. I find its “rags to riches to rags” story arc – where someone becomes greedy and delusional and then squanders all their opportunities – really compelling. Doctor Faustus, all those Jacobean morality plays – I love it when…

2 min.
modernist apartment

LOCATION DETROIT, USA DESIGNER DASH MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHER MARK WICKENS RESTORING THE HEART OF THE HOME While the couple loved its typically modernist features – like the huge floor-to-ceiling windows giving all the residents access to the light, air and views – the kitchen felt outdated. “Conceptually, it wasn’t the heart of the home,” says Boyer. “People in the 1960s didn’t have the same ideas about socialising that we have today.” THE CHARM IS IN THE DETAILS The architect replaced the parquet floor (a late addition) with slate tiles throughout, as slate is a material more consistent with early-modernist thinking. He chose a visually striking, dark-green honed marble with which to line the kitchen. Though not original to this townhouse, the marble matches a stone often used by Mies in his other projects of the same era.…