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Over the last year I have been fortunate to travel to New Zealand twice and enjoy the beauty this remarkable country has to offer. Probably my favourite city has to be the capital Wellington because it is brimming with art and culture. It also seems to be a hot bed for contemporary architecture. In fact, I was really surprised at the overall calibre of residential homes in this region. This is especially poignant because the weather conditions are severe and the threat of earthquakes is a real concern.

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Recently I watched an episode of a TV series called the ‘Art of the Architect’. The format is very similar to Grand Designs and chronicles the journey from concept to completion of a residential homes. Essentially what makes the programme so different is the project is seen from the architect’s perspective rather than the clients. This gives the viewer an insight into the many complexities involved in the process. It is also pertinent to mention that these dwellings are not generic and are normally built on very challenging sites. A great example is Oriental Bay House created by design practise Architecture Workshop.

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Originally the clients owned a home dating back to the 1890’s on Wellington’s prestigious Oriental Bay. The residence was dilapidated and beyond sustainable repair. This is why the approached internationally acclaimed architect Chris Kelly (Architecture Workshop) to come up with a viable alternative. His concept was to build a tall contemporary structure that effectively uses an abundance of glass to maximise the sensational coastal views. Overall the project was very challenging and involved building into a steep cliff face. Ultimately this cost the client millions before the project even started. It also took near enough 6 years to complete the home, which is a staggering amount of time. However, looking at the finished result this is a remarkable exclusive home reserved only for the very fortunate few.

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