Client: Gabriel Dawe, well known for his large scale beautiful and structurally precise installations working with thread, yarn and fabric.
Brief: To design a studio and living space for Gabriel Dawe at the given site, 30 Arthur Street, Wellington. The space needs to intergrate both a suitable for his creative needs as well as accomodate his basic living requirements; sleeping, bathing and eating.
Things to remember: Public vs. Private. Must accommodate the rituals of eating, sleeping, bathing and his creative practice.
Statement: To keep the notions of public and private separate in my design, I have utilized the idea of separating his personal spaces from his creative, therefore I positioned the large, open plan and high ceilinged studio at the front of his property, so as you entering, you are therefore entering his studio, this gives Dawe the option to open up his work to the public - without the public having to come across any of his private areas.
The private areas are separated into layers - via the use of mezzanine floors. Beginning with the kitchen, which is the most ‘public’ aspect of the private parts of the property. From entering, passing through the studio and up the five cantilevered stairs, Dawe can host people for dinner as he pleases.
Traveling up another fourteen cantilevered stairs to the living area, Dawe can relax in this, enjoying the sunlight streaming in from either the windows or the skylight.
Further up another seven stairs is where you reach the bedroom and en suite - the most private element of one’s entire house. This level is a smaller space in comparison to the rest of the property as the least amount of activity takes place here. But with the help of two pivoting timber walls, the bedroom opens up, giving it a warmer and open atmosphere. Through these walls, Dawe can enjoy some personal time looking down on his studio space/installations. There is no ceiling on the top level (other than the en suite) as there is a skylight that streams in warm, natural sunlight.
Using the layer house by Hiroaki Ohtani as the key precedent of my design, I have used the layered precast concrete wall techniques throughout my design as the interior walls supporting the stairs and as the walls in his studio area that are set up with slidable hooks to enable ever-changing designs by Dawe. I decided to stick with the original brick of the building as it is simplistic and gives the building a lot of character. Best to suit and emphasize this character was the use of rich rimu timber and precast concrete.
I feel as though I have thought in-depth about every aspect of my design. I am extremely happy with the outcome of this project and am proud of the big improvement I have made from the first assignment.