Urban Designer - Vernacular Architect - Maritime Planner - Owner-Builder - Servant of Piglet - Educator - Author - Revolutionary - Peacenik - Tour Guide 

Tony Watkins

 ~ Vernacular Design 

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ImageA bach begins with love of place (your favourite fishing spot or whatever). This means a bach does not begin with a bulldozer destroying the environment.



It begins with a few bricks for a fireplace and a couple of sheets of corrugated iron. Because a bach does not not destroy the environment it can be taken away without leaving a mark on the land. It never was a mark on the land. It is not an architectural statement. A bach then grows around recovered and recycled materials. The trailer load heading off for a Christmas holiday making a few improvements. Baches are owner-built. They are thus unique, humane, warm and friendly. The bach is designed around a culture. Sharing, sleeping in the corner of the kitchen, probably eating outside on an old table.

The bach is the archetypal sustainable building.


Tony Watkins is an architect, planner and urban designer.


Published in the New Zealand Herald 8 January 2008 

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