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Is everything in your process digital nowadays, or do you still draw sketches by hand?
Almost everything is digital except for the messy first part of the design process. All files are on CAD, but we're looking to transition into Revit by the end of 2013. A member of our team is a fantastic sketcher, so he still does these wonderful evocative pencil drawings.
Which professionals in your industry do you admire most?
Tom Kundig, because I love his dedication to the craft and that everything in his work gets designed. Also, most of his designs he actually gets to build. I like Glenn Murcutt, who can talk so eloquently about the Australian bush and always tries to have his structures “touch the ground lightly," which I admire. And William Van Alen. I get to look out my office window and stare at the Chrysler Building every day; [the Chrysler Building] makes New York a better city.
Can you talk about this luxurious property in Mexico?
It's easy to miss all the details in this picture, but this is actually a bathroom image within a massive master bedroom in a hacienda [located in] San Miguel de Allende [Mexico]. The owner and I instantly fell in love with its gorgeous boveda ceilings. We decided to make this bathroom into a lounge so two people can really hang out in the space: One can be reading while the other soaks in the tub. The bathroom even has a see-through gas fireplace because it gets cold at night in those parts of Mexico.
Your ideal client is?
Annie Lennox or Tom Richardson. Actually, my current clients are already pretty ideal.
What's the most comfortable piece of furniture that you have in your home?
The Body Raft by David Trubridge.
Do you seek architectural and design inspiration elsewhere?
We travel a lot, and it's always inspiring to see new cities, but I love my native New Zealand landscape; it's a mix of density and openness. The bush is so thick and pungent and full of tiny plants mixed in with giant kauri trees. And then we have the rolling hills, [which are] open and endless and inspire a sense of freedom. It's an infinity that isn't confused with the idea of ownership.
Where in the world do you want to go to next?
I'd like to experience Antarctica on my own, go to Alaska with a friend and travel to Japan with my family.