Patterson: Houses of Aotearoa
Andrew Patterson, Herbert Ypma (Foreword)
Thames & Hudson, January 2019
Hardcover | 12-1/4 x 10-1/2 inches | 252 pages | 200+ illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-0500022191 | $75.00
In Maori culture, architecture is approached as a construction of beliefs: a building must emulate and amplify personalities, hopes, and aspirations, becoming a physical expression of those who inhabit it. These ideas and others are the inspirations behind the design projects of New Zealand architect Andrew Patterson, who has been designing houses and civic projects in the country for over thirty years.
This book showcases fourteen of Patterson’s recent houses, offering both an overview of the spectacular homes and a photographic journey through New Zealand from stunning seascape retreats to mountain cabins. Each house reveals how Patterson’s architecture responds to the region’s breathtaking landscape—telling the story of the country’s cultural history and creating a sense of place and belonging. This volume is interspersed with thematic sections that present Patterson’s key influences, such as the culture and lifestyles of New Zealand, and Maori architecture, art, and mythology.
While I know it’s impossible to be aware of and keep up with every good architect/firm practicing around the world, I’m still amazed when I come across one that I was completely unaware of beforehand but has been around for years doing great work. Such is the case with the Pattersons Associates Architects, the New Zealand firm started by Andrew Patterson in 1986. (For reasons I can only speculate on, Patterson goes by Pattersons on its website, perhaps to acknowledge the two directors that work alongside Andrew Patterson.) When their recently published monograph came in the mail I didn’t know the who or the where of Pattersons; how many people beyond Oceania know that Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand? But taking a quick look through the book, I saw some familiar images (the reflective, undulating wall of the Len Lye Centre) as well as page after page of stunning house in equally stunning settings. The cover photo (the Seascape Retreat in Banks Peninsula) readies readers for the beauty inside.
Try as I must to find something to criticize in any book a publisher sends me, I wish the book was not limited to residential projects. Actually, the book does include a couple buildings that fall into the commercial category on the Pattersons website, but one could argue that Kinloch Lodge is basically a bunch of houses for transients, and the Michael Hill Clubhouse is a clubhouse for an individual with his own private golf course, just one signal of the wealth that pervades the firm’s clients. Still, I would have appreciated seeing more of their non-residential buildings, which are just as good as the houses but more urban than remote. As is, Houses of Aotearoa is a lovely coffee table book for fans of shelter mags. That’s not a bad thing; with a solid portfolio, I just want to see more of Pattersons.
Spreads (via Pattersons):
Andrew Patterson is the director of Patterson Associates Architects. He is the winner of the 2017 NZIA (New Zealand Institute of Architects) Gold Medal and was named by World Architecture News as one of five architects “whose directional ideas are helping to shape the future of world architecture.” Herbert Ypma is a bestselling author and photographer whose groundbreaking HIP Hotels series inspired an entirely new genre of travel publishing.