Rosalind Derby is a wonderful artist with an architecture practice based here on the Kapiti Coast.
Began with the Auckland Regional Authority with streetscape design.
Worked in architecture offices in Wellington and Wanganui.
Commenced the practice DUNE COUNTRY: an architecture of place in 2005. Now Rosalind Derby Architecture.
Very interested in building development in Kapiti and the denuding and flattening of the existing dune landscape by developers, to produce housing areas, which don't relate to the Kapiti natural geography. The invitations of local geography to build appropriately for the location, are ignored.
As an architecture practice we keep an open conversation about the Client's site and introduce a design approach that strengthens the Client's awareness of their site and the building's relationship within a landscape.
Clients will understand this as drivers around orientation to sun, view, wind protection, connection to the exterior garden environment, retention of existing trees, street access, flood protection, privacy, connection to the community space, appreciation and improvement of neighbourhood streetscape.
It is also the concept of ‘spirit of place’ that it’s our role to identify, and draw from, in the evolution of the building.
These elements are subtly appreciated by all new or existing homeowners, but if not readily spelt out as factors in design work, can be lost in translation, in the final completion of a new subdivison, or new home or new additions and alterations to an existing home.
Equal to the understanding of site and building is the Owners’ experience of interior built space.
As an architectural design practice we value the human experience in the design of a new building, alteration or addition. The interior spaces are closely studied for best live-ability, for both efficiency and surprise and for a comfortable sense of security in feeling. We look at the relationship of spaces to each other, through priority and comfortable access. We aim to understand the best use of natural light into the interior, and to make appropriate connection to both view and the outdoor areas. Choice of materials, fittings, finish and colour evolve to inform these spaces.
The challenges of contemporary design are an ongoing story, but not all homes are new. Just as we consider the site, our love of design draws on the period of a home in generating additions or alterations. All periods are inspirational from colonial, Victorian, art deco, bungalow, through to the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s. Some are religious buildings where the client is community. Many locally are iwi connected.
Rosalind's - Kapiti Story
Loved setting up in Kapiti with this focus on local environment. Clients picked up quickly on our understanding and we proceeded very quickly in building up a vibrant and thoughtful practice. These intentions around site specific building design transferred successfully to other regions, Wellington, Hutt Valley and Eastbourne, Wairarapa and Porirua and also rural NSW Australia.
It is inspiring linking the team of Client, Builder, Sub-contractor, Engineer, Consenting Authority to deliver the concept design through all the stages of design, detail, contract and construction through to building completion
It is also inspiring being in a profession so related to the experience of people in this local landscape, to be able to talk to that, and to celebrate the most positive responses to this experience in developing built form. Building in Kapiti means coast, rural, urban, suburban, bush, hill, wetland; also single family home, town-house, medium-density apartment, semi-industrial warehouse.
As we have progressed, our practice is refining the approach to interior spatial design to offer fully resolved spaces for living, as well as we can.
I have enjoyed creating media formats representing our work through profiles and local advertising and digital media such as Facebook. This marketing takes us on a new conversation out in the community and helps to tell me where we are going and who we are at a particular time.
In recent years I have enjoyed expressing my exploration of ‘place’ with paint, and have held painting exhibitions with neighbourhood streets as my subject. Colour and expression and working in groups balances the rigor of administrative work in getting jobs built and running the practice.
Currently I broadcast a Coast Access Radio programme called ‘Local Architecture Now’. This is very exciting and is the home of excellent interviews with fellow colleagues in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, building and community participation activity in urban development.
I am happy to discuss progressive architecture with anyone and especially with the courageous Clients who with determination and persistence improve their homes and family life.
Last year March-May 2015 I achieved the long-held dream of visiting Portland Oregon, a city imbued with progressive urban design and community planning at its core. The trip was amazing, meeting many local architects and urban designers and volunteering on leading projects and joining city architects to crit at end-of-term assessments, at the Portland University Architectural School. In the first month before settling in Portland I travelled in much of the West Coast and Palm Springs, Flagstaff, Denver, Monterey, Carmel. All this urban tourism prepared me well for getting down to it at Portland.
So it’s back to Kapiti and the here and now.