Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Then and now (1)

The interviewer is planning to interview an architect (GKN) about his holiday house. A draft scenario for the opening voiceover accompanying photo stills:


GKN: For more than fifty years, beginning in 1956, the family has been coming to Lake Rotoiti for holidays, especially in the summers. It all started in 1956, staying in a boatshed with the Macky family, in 1959, we camped on the lake shore on Derek van Asch’s property where I designed a house for him. By 1960, I had bought a lakeside property and in 1961, put up a cabin close to the water.

Interviewer: This is a New Zealand tradition, is it, this getting away at holidays, to a retreat near the sea or a river or a lake, and perhaps messing about in boats?

GKN: Very much so. Many of these retreats are rather Heath Robinson affairs, jerry built, reflecting the “do it yourself”culture.

Interviewer: But the cabin you put up seems to have lasted pretty well. Was it designed as a more permanent residence?

GKN: Not at all. I had started a low cost prefabricated housing project in the early 1950s, called Solwood, affordable and at the same time, with a minimalist approach to achieve a clean design. The cabin was also built of prefabricated timber panels. The wood was matai, tongue and grooved. The timber was rough sawn on the outside and dressed on the inside to achieve a smooth timber interior. The boards were held together with a hardboard tongue slotted into grooves sawn into the edges of the 3 inch matai boards.

Interviewer: The cabin was originally a simple one room retreat?

GKN: With a back verandah for extra sleeping, an outside toilet, a long drop.

Interviewer: No electricity?

GKN: There was a kerosene cooker and kerosene lamps. Water came off the roof into a tank behind the house.


1 comment:

  1. Hi there. I found your blog randomly tonight. My wife and I were lucky enough to purchase your old holiday home from Joan and Guy. Guy provided some old images of the Bach when we settled, but I have never seen the image taken from the air of the original building. Did you by chance complete the interview started in this blog? I'd be very keen to read what Guy further said re this special property and if okay with you add to the "history" page on it's website. If you'd like to see this please check out www.rotoitilakehouse.co.nz with warmest regards Haddon Lock