Architecture adapting in uncertain times

Three Gables

Through these past few challenging months, ‘home’ has been at the centre of our ‘bubble’ lifestyles. Ways of living and working have altered, with the experience also influencing thinking on home design. Craig South, of South Architects, suggests good architecture will continue to add value in today’s fast changing world.

As New Zealanders, we have all played our part in responding to an unprecedented event and borne the impacts of it. We have all had to find our own solutions. As business owners we are seeing an opportunity to look at being more streamlined in the way we think and operate our company. While working from home options are being explored, we remain committed to our collaborative approach to team engagement and client meetings. We will continue to travel when possible in order to meet project partners out of Christchurch. Although online video calling was a good substitute when we could not meet in person, we still feel that it is best to have those important face to face meetings and the collegiality that comes with them.

Traditionally, austere times such as economic depressions can pave the way to new and interesting architecture. We can see stirrings of this already in our own practice, with an upsurge of recent enquiry from people seeking alterations to existing dwellings now that they are more aware of shortcomings through having spent much more time at home this year.

In the new home market, we are starting to see changes in priorities too. Client briefs are shifting towards favouring homes that cater well to inter-generational needs of extended family, both young and old. The established trend towards smaller, more energy-efficient homes will continue to grow, and I think we can also expect further interest in shared cost co-housing or development arrangements.

At such a time as this and now more than ever, it is prudent to seek the guidance of a registered professional architect with the training and experience to add value, so that your project potential can be maximised. Of course, working with an architect does involve a cost, but it pays to remember that the architect’s fee is only a small part of the total cost. With a professional architect comes peace of mind that the design process is in the best possible hands. They will take the time needed to understand your priorities, what’s important to you and how you want to live, with the site and environment also feeding into the design process. In times of austerity, this is still the best way to protect your investment.

If you have a new home project in mind, we do strongly recommend starting a conversation with a expert who can advise you on how best to achieve a tailored design to meet your budget and brief. We know from experience that good architecture combines functionality with fun, delivering a lifestyle that is both relaxing and inspiring.

We wish everyone a safe journey ahead and extend our thanks to all those working to support their families and communities at this time.

Published on Friday, August 21st, 2020, under The Architecture


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