While London might have the Tate Modern — a contemporary art gallery on the banks of the Thames – New Zealand has Chris Tate, an Auckland-based designer who’s every bit as avant-garde as his namesake.
Material COLORSTEEL® ENDURA®
Profile Metalcraft Metrib 750
Chris Tate had a passion for art, buildings and spaces at an early age. He developed a love of using unconventional materials to create unexpected relationships that often inspire, and sometimes shock.
He creates soft, gentle interiors nestled within uninviting, tough exteriors. His love of jet-black buildings with pure white interiors is a marker of his style.
One of his most recent projects was his own place, on Waiheke Island, a pad where he works, lives and relaxes. Now affectionately known as ‘The Tent’, it resembles a giant Cicada, hunched and ready to spring.
It squats low at the back, widening to thrust seven metres high at the front. The Tent is clad in an elegant, fine-ribbed Metalcraft Metrib profile made of COLORSTEEL® ENDURA® in Ebony.
The build itself was challenging. Tate says it was “like a large sail under wind load, requiring a lot of supporting structure”.
The white walls, with their clean, smooth finish disguise the complexities of the all-steel home.
The building required steel purlins every 200mm and a steel spine supporting the two huge steel segments that served as both roof and walls. Tate created his own steel materials to exact structural specifications with on-site engineering input from craftsmen Team Builders 2000.
Steel framing was the obvious choice. “It allows flexibility of design. It’s 100% reliable. It’s stable. There’s no variation. It’s unaffected by weather. It’s also a cost-effective material that’s lightweight and easy to handle. That means it’s less demanding on the builders and allows me to craft my own customised pieces on site,” says Tate.
The end result is a true work of art. A highly-functional building, bold and distinctive yet completely at home in the stunning natural landscape that surrounds it.
Roofer Clive Mathews
Designer Chris Tate
Builder Andrew Sawley