​A highly commendable salvo in the campaign for sustainable practices.

by The REJIGIT Blog

Update September 2019

Catherine has recently published a new book "Big Ideas for Small Houses" (ISBN 978-0-14-377324-5) which describes twenty properties throughout New Zealand ranging from 34 sq.m. to 100 sq.m.

The book's cover image is a Small House known as Whare Iti located on a steep bush clad site at Melrose in Wellington overlooking Lyall Bay.

Owner / Designer: Wayne Lightfoot. Builder: Slade Construction. Images: Jason Mann.

11 October, 2018

Catherine Foster is a New Zealand based freelance writer who has previously published a number of books including Small House Living (2015), Apartment Living New Zealand (2017) and Small House Living Australia (2017).

Catherine’s driving force is a belief in consuming the finite resources of Planet Earth responsibly and she sees the harnessing of architectural design principles to build smaller and smarter homes as an obvious strategy. She also embraces a philosophy which expects that the application of good design principles can produce outcomes which address specific social needs.

Her latest work “Repurposed – New Zealand Homes using Upcycled Materials and Spaces” was recently released by Penguin Random House New Zealand (ISBN 9780143771746). The book focuses on twenty inspiring homes throughout New Zealand which have utilised recycled and upcycled materials, structures, spaces and furnishings. The featured homes are located in Lyttelton, Auckland, Wellington, Mahurangi, Cambridge, Cromwell, Christchurch, Queenstown, Hawke's Bay, Coromandel and Rangiora.

In the course of a discussion with Catherine, she made mention of how problematic it can be in New Zealand in terms of satisfying demanding building code requirements when it comes to incorporating recycled building materials. That being the case, she is much impressed with the determination and grit of the various people who were responsible for the projects described in her book.

The book is arranged in two sections, the first relating to Spaces and the second to Materials. The genre of each of the book’s subjects are diverse and each carries a descriptive narrative together with impressive photographic images.

The following are just some of the stars in the two hundred and eight page book;

The Barracks.      Point Chevalier, Auckland

Designers: Justin Marler & Fleur Palmer.    Photographer: Daniel Dixon.

Newton Loft.      Newton, Auckland

Architect: Graeme Burgess.    Designer: Ian Hughes.    Photographer: Daniel Dixon.

St Johns Presbyterian Church.      Cromwell

Designer: James McNaught.    Photographer: Rachael Hale McKenna.

Koia Cottage.      Arthurs Point near Queenstown

Architect: Tony Koia.    Photographer: Jamie Cobel.

Red Barns.      Tai Tapu near Christchurch

Designers: Sally Nash & Murray Grossmith.    Photographer: Daniel Dixon.

Villa Extension.      Ponsonby

Architect: Natasha Markham.    Photographer: Daniel Dixon.

Container House.       Owhiro Bay, Wellington

Designer: Ross Stevens.    Photographer: Agnes Fecher.

Davy House.        Māngere Bridge, Auckland

Designers: Peta & Joe Davy.    Photographer: Daniel Dixon.

Higham Bungalow.      Rangiora near Christchurch

Designer: Jason Higham.      Photographer: Stephen Goodenough.