“We have a mutual passion for architecture and design. When we go away on holiday all our snaps are architecturally focused. Our albums are full of photos of inspiring buildings and landscapes. It gets a little boring for friends and family.
We’ve always been very close in work and in life. We met when we were working at the same architecture practice in Christchurch 17 years ago. We worked together there for about three years before Tushka decided to take up a sports opportunity in Holland and reconnect with family ties there. I followed her a few months later.
We both had great work opportunities in different practices and soaked up as much as we could. We came back to NZ for a catch up with family and a Christmas holiday and ended up taking on some short-medium term jobs.
Tushka was offered a job on the Kapiti Coast and I joined her. Before we knew it we had bought a house and acquired a dog! We had a studio below our house and in 2000 decided to establish SPACE Architecture Studio. One of us would do contracting work for other practices and one of us would work on our own projects. In 2001 when we felt as though we had enough steady work we took a deep breath and committed fully to SPACE. There are now six of us working from the Mana office and we still maintain a home office in Kapiti.
“We get on really well. We are both very passionate about what we do. Sometimes it’s all consuming and with both of us involved in the business at times it’s difficult to switch off when we are at home. There is no division.
I work pretty much full time hours around the children. We have two girls aged eight and two and a half. Often work spills into our weekends and after hours.
We each have our own client base but we work on each other’s projects too. As a practice we have an ethos of working collaboratively wherever we can. I tend to work on smaller scale projects for myself and collaborate on the larger ones purely because my time is stretched over project work, business management and development and of course then there’s family commitments. Most of our architectural commissions include the design and detailing of the interior spaces and can include choosing furniture, fabrics, fixtures and fittings. I think this is extremely important for the integrity of a design.
As for our own space, that is an on-going conversation. Three years ago we bought an old house on two acres of protected bush in Waikanae. We have decided that the house is in the wrong place and needs to be demolished. We have had many lengthy discussions about what we should build. We each have a slightly different design aesthetic so that has proven interesting when it comes to collaborating on our own home. There has been a lot of compromise. I’m glad I have a husband who can concede defeat.