Perfect pad for the beach

19:26, Jan 22 2013

A discussion among friends about what would make the "ideal pad" was the inspiration behind architect Andre Hodgskin's iPAD(TM) bach.

One of the dwellings currently featured on the New Plymouth foreshore was Hodgskin's answer to this question.

The modular kitset home is part of Puke Ariki's summer exhibition, Kiwi Prefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge, that has extended out from the museum to the foreshore landing.

The iPAD(TM) bach, which is not to be confused with the Apple tablet, is lightweight, easy to transport and can be built in less than four weeks almost anywhere.

The design turned out to be a winner of an idea and, in 2011, Hodgskin and firm Architex won the small-projects category of the NZ Institute of Architects annual awards for the iPAD(TM) that it had built on a windswept coastal plot here in Taranaki.

Puke Ariki exhibition co- ordinator Duncan Cater says the iPAD(TM) was selected as an example of the new wave of architecturally designed prefabricated or kitset homes that are starting to pop up around New Zealand.

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"Sleek and innovative examples like this one and the others on display help challenge the perception that prefabrication is about cheap, flimsy, temporary buildings," he said.

"It allows people to see how architecture can be beautiful but also affordable and flexible."

The flexibility comes from the iPAD(TM) modular construction, he explains. This means you can start small and then add extra modules over time allowing the house to grow as required.

As part of the Kiwi Prefab exhibition, Puke Ariki is also running a series of events.

On Thursday at 6pm, architect Andre Hodgskin will discuss his thoughts on the future of housing in New Zealand and the part the prefabrication might play. All are welcome. Free entry.

Taranaki Daily News