East Meets West: An Architect's Award-Winning First Commission
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They met on a film set and fell in love; prompting her to move from Tokyo to Auckland (and bring her Japanese bathtub with her, metaphorically speaking). The film set of Memory and Desire, directed by Niki Caro, was clearly a hotbed of creative minds. Not only was it where Japanese actress Yuri Kinugawa and New Zealander film producer Owen Hughes met; it’s also where the couple met their architect to be, Andrew Lister (he is Caro’s husband). Years later, after the two couples had become good friends, Lister opened his architectural practice. On his first day, Kinugawa and Hughes walked in and gave him his first commission: their own house. Friends first, they already knew they shared an appreciation for the tenets of European and Californian modernism. Taking his cues from Kinugawa’s appreciation of traditional Japanese architecture and ritual (hence the bathtub), Lister created an award-winning home for a couple who wanted to combine their dual heritage into one. Above: A small space is made to feel expansive by a double-height living area, which houses Hughes' 5,000 books. Image via 10,000 World Architects . Above: Kinugawa and Hughes at home in their open living and kitchen area. Photo by Rachael Smith for The Telegraph . Above L: The house is on a steep site overlooking an estuary in Auckland. A double-height glass wall has aluminum window mullions detailed in a Japanese style grid. Above R: Sculptural forms contrast with the dark natural materials. Photograph by Richard Powers . Above: A multitude of sake cups in New Zealand carry connotations of home for Kinugawa. Photograph by Richard Powers . Above: Japanese textiles and prints are mixed into the couple's home. Photo by Rachael Smith for The Telegraph . Above: East meets west in the couple's raised platform bed. In traditional Japanese architecture, futons are typically placed on tatami mats on the floor. Image via Modern Residential Design . Above: Rice paper adds texture to the wall behind the headboard. Photo by Rachael Smith for The Telegraph. Above: Kinugawa brings the traditional Japanese bathing ritual to New Zealand. The tub is built from Lawson’s Cypress, with an open shower where users wash themselves first, then soak in the menthol-scented wooden tub. See Steal This Look: A Japanese-Inspired Bathroom, Soaking Tub Included for ideas on recreating the look. Photo by Richard Powers . Above: A simple utility sink is mounted on a wooden shelf. Photo by Rachael Smith for The Telegraph Above: The house is clad in Canadian cedar. Photographs by Richard Powers . Above: The architect Andrew Lister practices in New Zealand. Window detailing can make a significant difference in the reading of a room. See 299 images of Windows in our Gallery of rooms and spaces. If you were to follow the love of your life across bodies of water and great swathes of cultural differences, what would you bring to your new world that connected you back to your old world? Let us know in the comments section below.