Architectural forum attracts positive response

South Architects’ initiative ArchiChat is resonating strongly with people who share their passion for design and the architectural process. As Architect Craig South reports, the latest two-way forum sparked constructive discussion on how  people like to live and holiday.

Having launched our ArchiChat Group earlier this year, it is exciting for us to see interest growing in this interactive social forum that we set up for people wanting to learn more about architecture and what architects do.

As well as giving people an opportunity to explore the practice of contemporary architecture, the forum is providing a really invaluable vehicle for an informal exchange of thoughts and ideas. It has been a great experience for us and we’re certainly learning a lot from those taking part.

Our latest series of ArchiChat get-togethers, held in early August, was well-attended and generated great feedback. We got the ball rolling at each session by asking people to name their favourite holiday locations in New Zealand. It was interesting how these places so often lined up with a passion, whether for tramping or biking, peace and quiet, or just wanting to be somewhere beautiful with family.

Discussion then turned to what sort of bach people d reamed of and how that might complement their home lifestyle. Some preferred the concept of combining a modest city home with a large bach where they could holiday in style and comfort with friends and family. Others clearly favoured a spacious city home for urban living complemented by the option of being able to escape to a small private bach.

We talked through how each option could look in architectural terms, drawing examples from our own practice. We first outlined how a large holiday house can be designed to accommodate multiple families with all the comforts of home and how this could be combined with compact living in an inner city apartment. Many felt this combination would work best if the holiday home location was not too far from the city, making it easy to invite friends and family out for a weekend away.

Secondly, we showed how a large city home can be designed to maximise easy living for children and adults, as well as catering to extended family/guests. We discussed how this could be complemented by a small bach designed to make best use of space by delivering flexibility, privacy, style and comfort. A lot of people thought a small, low maintenance bach would be perfect for a more distant getaway.

We also touched on how you could combine a small city home with a small bach and designing for one-off crowds in small spaces. Smaller buildings do offer that advantage of less maintenance.

Personal preferences will always influence how people opt to live and play, though most attending our sessions agreed that a bach should look and feel different to day to day living so as to create that true sense of escape.

In these latest ArchiChat sessions there was also lively debate on the Merivale Mall expansion and whether people favoured suburban development over growth in the central city. The consensus favoured a vibrant city centre.

Needless to say, we are already looking forward to another successful round of ArchiChat later this year and having more people join our conversation on architecture.

Published on Tuesday, August 27th, 2019, under The Architecture


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