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5 Rules for designing a great home

Article by Home Magazine

We speak to Auckland architect Paul Clarke about his five rules to keep in mind when you’re planning a new build or renovation project

Another view of the Great Barrier holiday house by Paul Clarke of Studio 2 Architects. Photograph by Simon Devitt.

A Great Barrier holiday house by Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects. Photograph by Simon Devitt.


5 Rules for designing a great home

We’re starting a new web series here called 5 Rules, in which architects are going to be offering you their advice: five concise points for you to keep top-of-mind when you’re planning a new build or renovation project.

Our first rule-maker is Auckland architect Paul Clarke, who has just established a new practice, Studio2 Architects. Fans of the magazine will recognise some of the home’s he’s designed from previous issues. We’ve taken the opportunity to spice up this post with shots of his favourite creations.

An off-grid holiday home on Great Barrier Island by Paul Clarke of Studio 2 Architects. Photograph by Simon Devitt.

The Great Barrier Island by Paul Clarke of Studio 2 Architects is open to its large site and totally off-grid. Photograph by Simon Devitt.


Paul’s five rules:

1. Choose an architect you can relate to and enjoy working with. You need someone who’s a good listener and understands your aims and your budget. Then you need to give them the freedom to do what they do, within your parameters.

This Wanaka house by Paul Clarke was a finalist in our Home of the Year award in 2005. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

This Wanaka house by Paul Clarke was a finalist in our Home of the Year award in 2005. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

 

Inside the Wanaka house by Paul Clarke of Studio 2 Architects. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

Inside the Wanaka house by Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

 

2. Establish a wish-list and a scrapbook of images. This is a great tool that provides a mood for the project and the sort of spaces desired. It isn’t about copying others: it is establishing the styles you prefer and provides a link to your aspirations.

A home in Wanaka that Paul Clarke of Studio 2 Architects designed for his parents. Photograph by Paul McCredie.

A home in Wanaka that Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects designed for his parents. Photograph by Paul McCredie.

 

3. Articulate the purpose of the project. What are your short-term and long-term goals for your home, and how should it adapt for these changing needs? For example: a home for a couple is vastly different to a family home that needs to evolve from having young children to teenagers and beyond. Does the project need to accommodate these changes?

Inside the Wanaka house by Paul Clarke of Studio 2 Architects. Photograph by Paul McCredie.

Inside the Wanaka house by Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects. Photograph by Paul McCredie.

 

4. Focus on feeling. How do you want your home to feel? This informs the design of the home and how it will function.

A house in Birkenhead, Auckland, by Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

A house in Birkenhead, Auckland, by Paul Clarke of Studio2 Architects. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

 

5. Determine a realistic budget for the project. Construction cost is essentially dependent on three things: size, complexity and specification. Establish these things and work from there.

Inside the Birkenhead House by Paul Clarke, which looks south towards views of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

Inside the Birkenhead House by Paul Clarke, which looks south towards views of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Photograph by Patrick Reynolds.

 

Paul Clarke of S2 Architects.

Paul Clarke of S2 Architects.

 

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