A brief encounter with architect Ken Crosson

By Sarah Daniell

A few words with architect Ken Crosson.
Ken Crosson.
Ken Crosson.

Describe the quintessential Kiwi home:

I don't think there is a singular quintessential home, but perhaps if there was a typology it would be the bach. I think they reflect a little bit of who we are as a people and our ideas about a casual lifestyle, our climate, our aspirations and our connections to the landscape.

How will Auckland - and indeed NZ - homes look 20 years from now, with the housing crisis in mind?

We'll have to rethink our city and be more efficient in terms of land use, material use and energy use. Our houses will be smaller, denser and more urbane.

What is the thing, when building, that the most money should be spent on and why?

Whatever the building scenario it should be about quality rather than quantity.

Quality spaces and quality materials, resulting in quality experiences.

What is the least?


What is the greatest residential architectural disaster?

The one that springs to mind is the "leaky homes" issue. A sad tale of people expecting other people to do the right thing, and they don't, with the result of enormous financial loss; of extraordinary heartache and emotional turmoil.

Is the Kiwi dream of owning our own homes dead - and is it time to move on?

The Kiwi dream of owning your own home, especially in the big cities is taking a hit. We are going to have to look at more cost-effective ways of developing our city to accommodate more cost-effective homes. The old quarter-acre pavlova paradise is a thing of the past. A spread-out suburban city is an expensive city to live in, requiring enormous infrastructure to service small numbers of people. Although it's important we have choice, and the family home in the suburbs is one type, home ownership will come about with apartments, terrace houses and the like as well.

Describe your dream home, and where is it?

My bach on the Coromandel ... was an attempt to live in a simple way connected to nature.

Ken Crosson presents The New Zealand Home, starting July 8, on TV One.

- Canvas

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