Thursday, November 01, 2012

BIG HOUSE SMALL HOUSE - launched in style

Another night, another book launch. Tuesday night it was architects whereas the night before it had been foodies! This is of course the busiest time if the year for book publishers with the biggest gift-giving season of them all bearing down on us.
A couple of hundred architects, designers and others packed happily into the 40 George Street Gallery in Auckland's Mt.Eden for the launch of perhaps 2012's "biggest" book.

Random House's NZ Publisher Nicola Legat kicked off proceedings by welcoming us all and introducing the creators of the book, writer John Walsh and photographer Patrick Reynolds.They both spoke of the books genesis and then architect Julie Stout formally launched the book.

Houses are the forte of New Zealand’s architects, and this latest stunning, absolute knock-out of a book by writer John Walsh and photographer Patrick Reynolds shows why this country’s residential architecture is so well-regarded.
Big House, Small House presents and examines 60 domestic projects by 60 architects, all completed in the last five years.
The work ranges from big new houses to small additions, on sites from Northland to Dunedin.

Northland Studio
James Fenton Architect
Photo credit: Patrick Reynolds

“We wanted to cover the full range of residential architecture in New Zealand,” Walsh says. “And we wanted to demonstrate that high quality design is possible on all sorts of sites and in very different situations, and that it is commissioned by clients with very different requirements and greatly contrasting budgets.

“In other words, architecture is a particular response to individual circumstances. It’s also one of our society’s most creative achievements.”

Walsh, for a decade the editor of Architecture New Zealand and several other design magazines, and Reynolds, this country’s most experienced architectural photographer, previously collaborated on New New Zealand Houses, which was published in 2007.

One of the benefits of the book’s geographical sweep, and of its generous format,(this is an enormous book by any standards), is that it gives full rein to Patrick’s ability to photograph context,” Walsh says. “New Zealand’s architects get to design buildings in spectacular places, and Patrick’s photographs do full justice to the settings of buildings, as well as to their architecture.

 “Some sites are truly extraordinary,” Walsh says, “for example, those on the Northland and Coromandel coasts and in Central Otago, but Patrick also captures the context of apartments in inner Auckland and houses in suburban Wellington.

Walsh said in his remarks that the size and scope of the book has allowed for an inclusive approach to architects as well as projects.
Familiar names, such as Athfield Architects and Warren and Mahoney, are represented in the book, but the work of lesser known and up-and-coming architects is also published.

As well as many of New Zealand’s best architects, Big House, Small House also features some of the New Zealand’s best architecture writers. Although Reynolds took all the photographs, Walsh had some assistance with the text.
“The same person writing about 60 projects may have presented a challenge to the reader as much as the writer,” Walsh says, “and I was very pleased to share the load. I was able to call upon a group of specialist writers who visited half of the selected projects, and then submitted their copy for gentle editing.
“I hope we as writers have done justice to the inspirational work of New Zealand’s architects.”

Maidment McVinnie House
Architects: Megan Edwards Architects
Photo credit: Patrick Reynolds


JOHN WALSH is the communications manager of the New Zealand Institute of Architects. He was formerly the managing editor of AGM, publisher of Architecture New Zealand. John’s previous books for Random House, also with Patrick Reynolds, are New New Zealand Houses (2007) and Home Work: Leading New Zealand Architects’ Own Houses (2010).

PATRICK REYNOLDS is New Zealand’s leading architectural photographer. He lectures at the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and is a contributor to a blog on urban design and transport issues. His previous books include New New Zealand Houses and Home Work: Leading New Zealand Architects’ Own Houses (both also with John Walsh), Architecture Uncooked (with Pip Cheshire) and Villa: From Heritage to Contemporary (with Jeremy Salmond and Jeremy Hansen).

Title: Big House, Small House
By: John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds
RRP: $80
Released: 2 November 2012
Imprint: Random House NZ (Godwit)

Above - John Walsh, Nicola Legat, Julie Stout, Patrick Reynolds

Author signing for happy customer
The team from Unity Books Auckland were kept busy!

New Zealand's biggest book in 2012?  It may well be as it weighs in at a massive 2.85 kg ! Another biggie from Random House - The Engine Room is a mere 1.90 kg 
Great launch, truly impressive book, sure to be on many a Christmas wish-list.
My warm congratulations to the authors, designer Fiona Lascelles, and publisher; this is world class publishing and all involved should feel very proud.

Black House Part One
Architect: Stacey Farrell
Photo credit: Patrick Reynolds

1 comment:

Elaine Housby said...

So that will account for approximately one-seventh of my luggage allowance on the way home the next time I visit NZ then .... And the other gorgeous book about the sheds can take a chunk of the rest of it. Who needs clothes anyway ??