Architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin explore unusual homes built in or near areas of forest. After trips to properties near Madrid and the Catskill Mountains in New York State, they arrive in Piha, New Zealand, to a house built within an indigenous forest of pohutukawa trees. Navigating very strict environmental laws, this wooden-cladded and glass-roofed property mimics the branches of the surrounding trees, while its huge sliding glass walls open up to allow the surrounding forest to become an intrinsic part of the house itself.
In the crisis-stricken decades of the 1920s and 1930s, with the world at the tipping point between two global wars, design suggested dramatically different ideas about the shape of things to come, from the radical futurism of the Bauhaus to the British love affair with mock-Tudor architecture and the three-piece suite.
Trevor McIvor and his partners design buildings that take advantage of the innate heating and cooling characteristics of nature. From an off the grid “cottage” that requires no artificial cooling, to a green-roofed sound studio rising out of the earth, nature dictates the design flow.