New Zealand is known for its natural beauty – ‘pure’ New Zealand they call it. If you’ve ever visited you’ll know what I mean, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the ever present views of oceans, bays and rolling green hills. To do the country justice from an architectural perspective is no easy task. Fortunately, it is blessed with a number of architects – such as Tim Dorrington’s Auckland practice - who manage to express all those good things New Zealand and New Zealanders stand for: respect for nature and natural materials, a leaning toward modernist design, but simultaneously keeping it honest, simple and affordable.
Hi Tim, what is New Zealand like as a place to do your work?
NZ is a great place to work. The architecture is unique and world class, the sites are terrific and the people engaged and relaxed all at the same time.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
The start of all projects are influenced by the individual site, client, brief and budget. Personally I’ve always had a love of mid-century modernist architects such as Craig Elwood, Marcel Bruer, Pierre Koenig, Richard Nuetra etc.
What sort of skills do you need to do your work?
The main skill is seeing a project in its entirety, from the concept design stage. The concept informs all other decisions to be made on a project. Often we refer back to little scribbles in notebooks to confirm materials etc.
How do you keep focused on doing something unique, creative & true to yourself?
By having as much fun as possible and not taking yourself too seriously. Keeping an open mind and embracing new ideas.
Why did you make the leap to independent entrepreneurship?
It was always my aim to set up my own shop so that I could work on my own designs and see them become reality when built.
What is a typical day like for you?
Morning at home with the family, drop my son at his primary school, get to work and have coffee, catch up with the team and get cracking with some work! Home in the evening, hopefully in time to see the kids, then dinner with my wife and some relaxing time.
“Have as much fun as possible and don’t take yourself too seriously”
Do you enjoy your work? Why?
Love my work. I love setting (theoretically!) my own timeframes, and having control (theoretically!) of my time. I love seeing the designs we come up with getting built and forming relationships with our clients.
Do you have one tip for other aspirant creatives & entrepreneurs?
Enjoy what you do first and foremost. Life is too short to spend time doing things you don’t like doing.