Uniquely beautiful spaces: Arthouse Architects

Driven by a love of design and helping people achieve what they want. Relaxed and collaborative rather than ego driven.

All this and more describes Arthouse Architects, whose approach is always “it is the client’s home, not ours.”

This rare amalgam of strengths leads to regular appearances on the awards circuit all over New Zealand. Arthouse Architects is a creative, collaborative studio of innovative design thinkers. Directors Jorgen Andersen and Rachel Dodd, together with a dedicated and experienced team, enjoy working together to create elegant and timeless solutions for projects of all scales and purposes. “We believe that good design should be honest and fulfil a purpose. It should have a connection to the heart of the function,” explains Jorgen.

While passionate about creating things that get built, there is a large communication element to what the team does. “We meet clients and listen to what they want, add our layers of expertise, and then aim to deliver beyond their expectation,” says Jorgen, “it is human nature to desire more than we can afford usually, so we also help with shaping their dreams into their budget.”
With the cost of building going up 41% since pre-Covid, the team appreciate that build cost is more critical than ever to the majority of projects. With his family’s own build about to start in the city, Jorgen is personally working through the process of balancing what the family loves with what is affordable.

The team’s key ethos is to work in layers. The first big layer is the master planning, and from there they add layers of complexity. “Working from macro to micro, we start with practical and functional, and add design, beauty and detail,” says Jorgen. Focusing on spatial design, Jorgen ensures buildings are a delight to be in, and not just gorgeousto look at.

A stunning apartment project in Nelson is a recent stand-out job for Jorgen. “I was part of the development syndicate as well as the architect, so that was an incredible learning process to be on both sides of a project.”

In both commercial and residential projects, the team prefer natural materials and muted pallets. Low maintenance exteriors are combined with warming, cooling, and ventilation on the inside. Having a certified passive house designer on the team, the carbon cost of materials and their origins, solar panels, and water collection are central to their approach. “The end result is always a uniquely beautiful space that suits the way you live and work”.


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