Category

Design & Function

What to expect when you’re building new

If you’ve never built before, it can be a daunting commitment. If you want the experience to be a positive one, here are some questions to ask upfront before you choose to enter the design-and-build relationship. 1. At a high level, how does your overall process – from commencement to completion of work – operate?…

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Box – The Architect Builder

The Principle of the Architect Builder“The backbone of the process of production we envisage is a new kind of professional who takes responsibility for the functions which we now attribute to the architect, and also, for the functions which we now attribute to the builder.He is responsible for the detailed designs of the houses, and…

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DESIGN BITES – APRIL

What’s inspired us: It’s not often you can buy an off-the-shelf product that helps fight the housing crisis and the climate crisis all in one go. But IKEA aims to do just that with its eco-responsible trailer-mounted tiny house. Box™ has always admired the ethos of the Swedish company’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who was born…

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Six Tricks with Lighting

Lighting might not take top billing when it comes to the wishlist that will make a space your own, but it is one of the most magical aspects of design – your chance to effect a Tinker Bell moment using the fairy dust of light. When designing for light, some only focus on the practical…

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Oh, the places you’ll go: a journey in decision making

The design decisions we make when building a home aren’t always based on fashion or finance. Sometimes they hark back to our childhood. That’s what first-time builders Terri and Sam discovered when, along with the Box™ team, they started the process of conceptualising a new-build in Auckland’s Glendowie. “I grew up in red-brick houses and…

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Storing the Printed Word

Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks, beseeched Dr Seuss. Here are some rather more stylish ways to store the printed word. It’s a wrap Books and media go together like birds of a feather and so shelving in a TV den is a great match. Not…

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DESIGN BITES – MARCH

What’s inspired us: You gotta love an A-frame. Alphabetically speaking, they’re at the front of the pack but we’d also give these cute, characterful buildings an A for architectural merit. And an A+ for artfulness. Although the A-frame began life as a rudimentary structure in Europe, China and the South Pacific, it really rose to…

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BEHIND THE BENCH…

Kelli Brett, editor of Cuisine magazine, shares her thoughts about kitchen design and why form and function are only part of the story What does your kitchen mean to you? A lot. It’s lovely although not as technically up to date as I’d like it to be. It has a beautiful view of the ocean.…

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DESIGN BITES – FEBRUARY

Take a ‘mini’ break, colourful lessons from an African hut and design champions unite What we found helpful:  Looking into the world of tiny houses is like disappearing down a rabbit hole – and finding Alice’s Wonderland. For a movement devoted to small, it’s HUGE. At Box™, we’ve always advocated building for quality rather than…

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Into the Closet

When it comes to home design, hero rooms such as the kitchen or outdoor entertainment area, tend to steal the limelight. But we think the quiet achievers deserve some acknowledgement too. Your average wardrobe is, well, not so average. Dig a little deeper and you’ll quickly realise that, when it comes to planning, ratio wise…

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Looks Good, Does Good

We asked four Box™ team members to highlight some memorable style-setting and pragmatic design details of homes they’ve worked on. Secrets and surprises Ensuring a building is weathertight is an important part of the role for architectural technician Conor O’Brien, who has been draughting up Box™ homes on the computer for three years now. As…

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DESIGN BITES

Record-setting statistics, a suburb in a circle and a new boutique hotel that could become a habit What’s caught our attention: Although Kiwis traditionally hanker after a stand-alone home on their own patch of dirt, the pendulum is swinging towards medium-density solutions and, particularly in our biggest city, residents can’t help but notice how many…

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Two sides to every (house) story

We’ve said it all along: when you combine a design-and-build crew under one roof, you achieve better results for clients. But although these two disciplines have existed side by side for eons, they have traditionally operated as separate businesses, so surely when they are integrated there are challenges? How does this actually work in the…

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Shelter in place

Robyn and Leighton Langley felt conflicting emotions as they stood road-side on a wet and somewhat blustery day and watched a gigantic mechanical arm lift their bedroom pod up and over a specimen pohutukawa to its place on their section. On the one hand they felt very excited; on the other, it was the most…

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Rewind and redefined

It’s a familiar story: when youngsters enter the picture, the excitement of the big-city dream tends to pale. Childhood memories of beaches, open space and a more relaxed pace suddenly become irresistible. Expat Luisa Andrew and her Scottish husband Stephen Dewar were living with three young children in a Hong Kong terrace house when they…

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Back to the future of housing

If Box™ co-founder Dan Heyworth could wave a magic wand to solve the big issues facing the design-and-build industry, what would he do? In this interview with Ryan Castle from Master Builders, Dan looks for answers. Q: Box™ bucked the traditional model by combining an architecture practice and construction company under one roof. Has it…

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All-Day Parking

Unless you were a local, you’d never know that behind the street façade of this home, is a leafy-and-lovely view of Grey Lynn park. Admittedly it looks a little different to its colonial-era neighbours. The site is long and skinny (think 40 metres x 11.7 metres wide), but also steep. That might seem tricky for…

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History at its Heart

Design manager Tony Borland-Lye discusses his favourite Auckland building   As an architecture student at Auckland University, when Tony Borland-Lye headed off on food-finding missions between lectures, he usually took the scenic route through Albert Park, before dropping down into the laneways and alleys that run between High and O’Connell Streets. Then, as now, this…

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Keeping it Real

A cluster of cabbage trees stretching into the sky, against a backdrop of islands and ocean, is an iconic indicator that locates this property immediately in New Zealand. The Cordyline australis that grow here are well-loved because the owners of this spectacular site are not only nurturers of nature but keen gardeners too. When they…

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Why William the Conqueror is partly to blame for our housing problems

The quest to create affordable housing in New Zealand is an interminable dilemma. But as Dan Heyworth writes, the issue comes from the old British feudal land system on which ours is based. Recently I was involved in a project that responded to government calls to use off-site manufacturing to bring affordability to the housing…

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