The Architectural Drawing

Architectural drawings of the past An architect’s drawing can be a sketch that illustrates an initial idea or a technical drawing that demonstrates how a building will be constructed. Architectural drawings in the past were done on large sheets of paper with drawing boards. LA studio circa 1956, MSU Quonset Huts. (1) Free-hand drawing is…

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Architecture books from our Library

   The Dixon Wild library is full of architecture books that provide us with inspiration for our projects. We have listed five books below:   1. Minimum by John Pawson Phaidon Press Ltd, London UK 1996 The book Minimum is a catalogue of minimalist spaces, textures, and environments. Minimum consists of mainly images – with very…

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Building Material Selection

Building Material Selection: Material selection is an important aspect of new and existing building projects. Materiality can define a building’s presence in its surrounding environment, whether that be in a suburban streetscape or rural landscape. Material Selection is also key when designing sustainable, durable and efficient homes. Some considerations when selecting materials are listed below.  …

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Star Blocks and Medium Density Housing

An introduction to Medium Density Housing The 1950s saw the rise of medium density state housing. Previously, New Zealand state homes were single dwellings on quarter acre sites. These developments, while successful at the time could only house one family per acre. Land prices and shortages in the 1950s saw a departure from these quarter acre developments.[1]…

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Tamaki Drive Design Proposal

Tamaki Drive Development In 1998 Bruce Wild proposed to develop the Tamaki Drive shoreline. His proposal encouraged pedestrian access to the shoreline, recreating a forgotten beach below Tamaki Drive.     The proposal shown in the sketch above, 1998.   Proposed Site Takaparawha Point sits between Okahu and Mission Bays. Tamaki Drive hugs Takaparawha Point. It…

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From sketch to design

The Architect’s sketch Architects use sketching to explore concepts and ideas. A single sketch can govern the overall form of a building. As was the case for one of our recent projects; a Kainga Ora (Housing New Zealand) walk up apartment in Mangere. We developed the initial concept, taking the project to the resource consent…

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McCahon House Visit

History Last year Dixon Wild visited the McCahon House. The house sits amongst native New Zealand bush in the leafy suburb of Titirangi. It provides an insight into how the artist Colin McCahon lived when he moved to Auckland from the South Island. McCahon lived in the house with his wife and children from 1953-1960. The…

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Wangaruru Site Model

Making a site model is a useful exercise for architects during the preliminary design stage. It allows us to experiment with forms on the site; and to figure out what does or does not work. We recently created a physical model for our Whangaruru project. We documented the process with photos below.   Step 1: Site…

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Building Envelope and Passive Design

The building envelope is the ‘skin’ of a building. It consists of the walls, windows, roof and floors that make up a building and separate internal spaces from external conditions.    Why is the Building Envelope important? The main purpose of a dwelling is to is to provide shelter to its occupants from external environmental…

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