Inspiration Profile - Justin and Louise Wright

Hooray - it is Friday once again. Are you all surviving the mad rush towards Christmas? One more week of work to go for us lot down under.
Now for this week's Inspiration Profile - they are on the cover of the latest HOME New Zealand magazine and were studying Architecture at the same time as I was at Design school. How far they have come since then! Enjoy the profile of architects Justin and Louise Wright from Assembly Architects Ltd. Happy Friday all.


Louise and Justin Wright - Assembly Architects Ltd.
Louise on the cover of the latest HOME New Zealand magazine.

Name: Louise and Justin Wright

What do you do: We are architects, together we run the boutique architecture practice Assembly Architects Ltd. We are also parents to 3 young children. We have been in the architecture profession for 12 years, Assembly just turned 7, and our kids are 5 and 3 and 3 (nearly 4 and 4).

Where do you live: We live in Arrowtown in the Queenstown Lakes District of the South Island of New Zealand. Close to mountains, rivers and lakes.

What are you working on: A massive range of projects right now. New houses in Queenstown, Wanaka, Wairarapa and Mangaweka, and prefabricated marae building projects for Tuwharetoa. Our work at the moment encompasses a range of construction types from primitive rammed earth to cutting edge prefabrication techniques. We love the environmental performance and the aesthetic of the earth, it brings a lovely weight, sense of permanence and timeless quality to a space. And prefabrication allows us to deliver buildings such as the marae and classroom in an ultra-fast time frame.

Kamalas Pavilion, Wellington Zoo.

The Arrow Private Hotel, Arrowtown
 
Who/what inspires me: We have a passion for architecture and good design. Inspiration on the other hand, comes at unlikely moments. From seeing a hay bale in a landscape or a texture in stone, the patina of aged timber and metals, an effect of light on water, or a particular tree or garden - when it is right and appropriate we apply those moments of inspiration to opportunities in projects. In some projects we can look back and identify the one catalyst or trigger of inspiration that drove the ideas.

Storing ideas happens with sketching and drawing, photography, instagram, pinterest and sometimes memory - long may that last.

Feeding the passion comes with talking, sharing ideas, reading books, magazines and blogs, travelling and of course working. Doing what we do and then seeing the end result realised.

We work bestwhen in the flow - that full immersion state when our energy is concentrated on the project - it’s all clicking in to place and we are enjoying it. Often there aren’t enough hours in the day and our work carries on into the night shift. Morning coffees are essential, and we always have a good lunch. Though we work side by side we work fairly independently in the mornings, and save up our discussions for the lunch break, or for after work drinks. When the kids are home we are either with them together or taking turns to be at work.

What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: If the energy and passion for a project is waning we talk, go for a walk, get down to the water, or stop and have a coffee. We love the river for fishing and playing with our kids. They can sit and make rock piles or dams for hours. It’s a good space to think and process ideas. The kids will be getting gold pans this Christmas.

House in Butel Park, Queenstown

New House, Wellington - exterior courtyard.

The best advice I have been given is: Work with people who are excited by and committed to a great design outcome for their project.

My latest discovery is: Always posted to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest.

Books that I get inspiration from: Most of the ones on our shelves and plenty more on the wish list. We love books as objects and for their content. Lou reads and re-reads novels, collects them, gives them away, sometimes buys them back again. We love architecture books, idea books, and big fat photographic cook books. Justin designed the Stackweave bookshelf, we have a few of those yet to fill.

Thorndon Villa, Wellington with Stackweave bookshelves in the dining area.
 
Britomart Showcase, Auckland, with Cheshire Architects Ltd.
 
Magazines that inspire me: Detail. Dwell.

Blogs that we enjoy: Architecture blogs Architizer,Archdaily, Dezeen etc. Online extensions to magazines such as Home and Urbis, Denizen, miss minty herself, and basically the leap-frog journey of random link ability that blogs provide.

Our favourite room at home is: The one with the sun in it. Morning sun to wake up to, evening sun in the living room to unwind.

Our office is: In a bright white attic above the house. It gets too much sun for the computer screens, but it’s a total luxury to be able to work from home.

What am I looking forward to:Building our own house (soon), going fly fishing (soon) and having a holiday with family and friends (not soon enough).

See more of Assembly Architects Ltd's work here, read their blog, follow them on Facebook, check out their pinterest boards or tweet with them on Twitter. Phew!

Villa Renovation, Wellington.
All photographs are used with permission by Assembly Architects Ltd.

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