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Prestigious timber projects


Timber’s benefits make for a lengthy list – spanning both form and function and, while its longevity of use speaks of its function, it’s the NZ Wood Resene 2020 Timber Design Awards that speak of its form.

ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH

 

The Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown may have put paid to the celebratory event for the highly-acclaimed, annual showcase of the innovative, structural and aesthetic use of timber, but local winners of this prestigious event have been announced.

Haus Expresso (Dalman Architects), Arvida Living Well Park Lane (Jasmax), St Patricks Church (WSP Opus), CSO Centre, Christchurch Town Hall – Ron Ball Studio (Warren & Mahoney), Boat Shed – Lyttelton (Christchurch City Council), Farmers Corner Pavilion Ashburton (PTL Consultants) and the James Hay Theatre Timber Floor – Christchurch Town Hall (Timbers of NZ) are just some of the exceptional local projects to receive awards this year.

St Patricks Church (pictured) offers a stunning example of how structural timber elements can be expressed as the main architectural feature of a building.

Utilising New Zealand grown radiata pine with a clear coat finish, the timber creates a warm feel for the 250 square metre church.

The Lincoln project by WSP Opus was the winner of a new category – Public Design.

It was also the proud winner of an Interior Architecture award in the NZIA’s 2020 Canterbury Architecture Awards (page 79).

“Once again, the quality of entries is exceptional,” judges agree.

“More and more novel, innovative applications of timber are submitted every year. The quality, design, materials and build philosophies employed demonstrate the evolving and imaginative use of timber in New Zealand and indeed, around the world.”


 

2020 Food Predictions


In recognition of the new decade, we caught up with My Food Bag’s development kitchen team, comprising of Nadia Lim and 13 talented chefs and nutritionists, about what we can expect to see on the culinary horizon for 2020.

 


1. Mindful eating – Consideration for health and the environment are on the rise.

When it comes to our food choices, people are more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies and their footprint.

Mindful eating is also about being present while we eat, appreciating food and spending quality time at the dinner table.


2. Out with fad dieting – When it comes to health and weight loss, sustainability in all things is the way forward.

Understanding the tried-and-tested method of eating real, nutritionally balanced food with a vegetable focus will become the ultimate goal.


3. Home food fast, not fast food – Convenience is key.

With Kiwis short on time, they want to be able to prep and cook food fast, but this doesn’t have to mean eating badly.

Homecooked and veggie-packed ready meals are in hot demand.


4. Zero-waste and home composting – Over the past decade ‘nose to tail’ and ‘stalk to tip’ have become commonplace.

This year we’re continuing to lessen our waste from the beginning to the end of our food’s journey.

Home composting is also on the rise with composts and urban worm farms increasing in popularity.


5. Mezze plates are the new platters: The bowl reached its peak in 2019 and although this movement isn’t going anywhere, the platter is catching up – think Middle Eastern influences, elaborate grazing platters and mezze plates.


6. Mini foodies: The next decade will see kids’ palates continuing to evolve. Forget chicken nuggets and chips!

Thanks to the rise in popularity of baby-led weaning, olives and sushi are becoming everyday staples for many youngsters.

My Food Bag predicts New Zealanders are raising a generation of foodies interested in eating and cooking nutrient-dense foods with bold flavours.


7. Nut butters: New Zealand’s nut butter industry has taken off in the last five years with several artisan suppliers such as Pic’s and Forty Thieves providing a range of simple, minimally processed nut butters free from sugar and added vegetable oils.

Peanut, almond, cashew and hazelnut butters, as well as tahini are becoming more common in cooking, adding flavour and texture to sauces and dressings.


8. Alternative flours: Alternative flours have been used as replacements in baking for years but now they’re going mainstream and forming the bases of staple food items like pasta and bread.

Rapidly growing in popularity due to the rise in gluten-free and coeliac and the desire for more diverse foods, these flours are becoming regular supermarket purchases for those without dietary requirements.


9. Fermentation: Kombucha and sauerkraut are so 2019! However, the rise and focus on gut health is here to stay in 2020 and this will see an increased focus on improved digestion from prebiotics, the non-digestible starch our gut bacteria feeds off, which is typically known as fibre.

Think lots of veggies and fibre-rich foods like broccolini, sweetcorn, whole grains and chickpeas.


10. Is smashed avo out? We’d be lying if we said avo on toast is on the out, but the bread base is changing and Kiwis are becoming increasingly creative when it comes to their avo toppings and add-ons.

We’re moving from ciabatta and rye to bespoke sourdoughs made from fermented oat and potato, as well as gluten-free almond, turmeric and cricket bread.

Meanwhile, favourite toppings in 2020 will include whipped pumpkin and feta, tahini or almond butter and kimchi mushrooms, crushed peas or crispy buckwheat and hummus.


 

Editor’s Perspective: 06 February 2020


“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognising and appreciating what we do have.”

Frederick Keonig

 

 

It’s long been said that money doesn’t buy happiness and I’m sure that no truer saying has been said.

After all, some of the world’s most financially-rich are also some of the world’s most happiness-poor.

I think it’s easy for us to forget that happiness isn’t something that is handed to some people and not to others because, as the Dalai Lama once said,

“Happiness is not something ready-made; it comes from your own actions”.

Happiness results, not from circumstance, but how we react to circumstance and the beauty of that is the knowledge and appreciation that our reactions to circumstance are completely within our control.

So in 2020, my challenge to you is, smell the roses, use the good tea set, have the second glass of wine and accept the compliment.

And remember, no act of kindness, no hint of compassion, no good deed – however small – is ever wasted; 2020 is the year of happiness but let’s also make it the year of kindness.


 

Plenty of power


ONE COULD BE CONSIDERED LUCKY WHEN MERCEDES INVITES THEM TO ITS AUCKLAND OFFICE TO TEST DRIVE THE NEW MERCEDES GLS 400D 4MATIC.

 

Ushered into to the boardroom, we were given an extensive breakdown of the specifications.

It’s a seven-seat SUV with more spin than a very spinny thing! With a 3.0-litre six-cylinder, 243 kW and 700Nm, it also has plenty of power.

The Burmester surround sound system with 13 speakers blows your mind, with 590 watts of sound and ambient internal lighting in 64 shades, beautiful leather interior with oak wood trim and a sunroof for that wonderful open-air breeze.

To be honest, there is a hell of a lot of luxury packed into what doesn’t feel like a seven-seater.

Its increased size is more than made up for in the power and handling capabilities, but the increased room makes for a REAL seven-seater, not like most of the tiny rear two seats of other brands.

The test drivers were given the keys to take the vehicle for a drive to The Glass House, the home of Brick Bay Wines in Warkworth, north of Auckland, a stunning restaurant and the gateway to the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail.

With the Mercedes GLS 400D, you simply insert the location into the navigation system and away you go; very easy to use!

It was a hot day, making the seat cooling device with a back massage system a very welcome addition.

That’s right, passenger and driver get a back massage by using hand signals, so you can turn this function off and on without losing sight of the road.

After a couple of hours of driving, I felt better than when I got in the car!

It’s a very solid drive and you can actually get a variation with an increased suspension if you really want to go hardcore off-road.

The design features vents in the front grille which increases it aerodynamically and it’s got a lovely line for such a large SUV.

A standout feature for me was the one button push that folds all rear seats down electronically; and no, it has sensors so it won’t squash the kids in case of accidental ignition.

With all rear seats stowed away and loaded to the roof, the capacity reaches 2400 litres; that makes for a whole lot of options.

I said to Jarrod from Mercedes that I could put a mattress in the back and go camping.

He didn’t look impressed; the Mercedes GLS 400D is, after all, much too classy for such an endeavour.

It comes in at $166,700 before on road costs which isn’t everybody’s price point but if you want the ultimate luxury of Mercedes SUV, it’s hard to look at anything else.

 


 

Easy to impress


It’s hard not to like the Lexus RX. The large SUV has been the biggest seller for the premium Japanese brand for many moons now and, for 2020, the people’s choice has been tweaked and updated. We got stuck into two variants of the new car over a two-week period. So, the 2020 RX, is it still good? Well, yes actually.

 

 

Eight models, petrol and hybrid, make up the range, with petrol and hybrid powertrains available.

Things start at $97,400 for the base RX 350 petrol, and top out at $127,500 with the flagship RX 450hL hybrid. In between, you have the F SPORT and the high-end Limited options for the RX 350 and RX 450h, but Limited only for the roomier seven-seater L spec cars.

Power for the RX 350 and RX 350L comes in the form of a 3.5-litre petrol V6 putting 221kW/370Nm through all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic, while returning 9.6L/100km respectively. The RX 450h and RX 450hL naturally get the petrol-electric hybrid set up, with 230kW/335Nm and a CVT box. Economy is more frugal at 5.7L/100km.

The new RX gets some more goodies. Apple Car Play and Android Auto now come as standard, along with the same 12.3-inch infotainment system as before, albeit now with touchscreen capability.

2019 Lexus RX 450h Sports Luxury interior with Rich Cream trim and Bamboo ornamentation.

 

It also sits 138mm closer than before, but the touchpad interface can be a tad unresponsive at times.

Safety kit includes lane tracing assist, lane centring, road sign assist and cyclist detection.

Also, let’s not forget BladeScan. It may sound like a prequel to ‘Blade Runner’ but it is in actual fact, a world-first in headlight tech.

Both the F SPORT and Limited models have 12 individual lights incorporated into each headlight and BladeScan utilises tiny mirrors spinning at 100 times a second which help reflect the light through each headlight.

Lexus claim this shines more light on the road ahead than having 200 individual LED lights; a bright idea indeed.

First to test was the V6 petrol F SPORT, which from the get-go was rather nice on the move.

The howl of the 3.5-litre V6 was stimulating to say the least, and a linear torque curve above 2000rpm made for a smooth delivery of power.

The eight-speed box provided slick changes and perfectly weighted steering means plenty of feedback was on offer.

The RX 450h provided all the silent running you could expect with Lexus’ hybrid set up.

You can remain in EV mode up to speeds of 50km/h, but give it too much foot and it defaults to petrol power.

The choice of petrol or hybrid can be a conundrum for some however, for this writer, the hybrid represents the best choice for its frugality, refinement and efficiency which few in the game can do like Lexus can.

However, whichever you choose, the new look RX, like its predecessors, is easy to be impressed with.

The changes might be minor, but they bring the RX up-to-date in great style.


 

A brave new you for 2020


The first thing we think of when reminiscing on decades past, is what people wore.

 

Photo from Meraki www.merakiofficial.com.au

The ’20s will have a definably different vibe. Seize this exciting time in space to reinvent and trademark the new era.

We have new looks for each season – but for the new decade why not dare yourself? It’s a brave new world out there, and we can still be totally true to ourselves while turning heads with a courageous new look.

  1. A little help from my friends
    A good friend is an honest one. They see the 360 degree version of their favourite person the most.Ask all your friends their advice and see if there’s a common thread. Be the influencer and lead the way amongst your peers. Have a blast trying on new styles together.

    Perhaps experiment with new looks, shapes and colours at affordable pre-loved fashion outlets such as Nurse Maude Hospice stores.

    “That’s so you!” is what we love to hear. But imagine the squeals of glee as their demure, minimalist mate rocks up in a ruffled frock in lime green.

2. Savvy advice from a retail expert
An experienced consultant will often coax the shopper to have a try on of something that’s not their usual pick. Humour them.

It might be a pleasant surprise, a game-changer even. They’ve seen all shapes squeeze into styles – and are in the know when it comes to what fits and flatters.

3. From head to toe
We can cling to hairstyles in habitual comfort – however, the new energy of a complete change in hairstyle is empowering.

If you haven’t got any colourful or shimmery sandals, lay safe blacks to rest, and walk on sunshine for the summer of 2020.

For those firmly grounded in flatties, there’s high heels that still feel like slippers, and conversely, flats with chunky platforms for high-heel confidence.

4.You deserve it
Buy that outfit you adore – the one you can’t really afford or see as too glamorous, but can’t stop thinking about.

That’s not an impulse buy; it’s fate! Instead of drooling over fashion pages with wishful admiration, imagine yourself there, and recreate a completely new look to suit your budget.

5. Embrace the future
Metallics will be synonymous with the sci-fi-sounding 2020s – so have some fun with futuristic fabrics. Leggings have been synonymous with the 2010’s, so leg it out of this last decade and try on hot pants, suits, or high-waisted loose-fitting pants.

We’re going to be time-travelling in fashion to both past decades and futuristic times – fasten your belts!

6. Rule out old rules
Fashion is now delectably ageless. Fabrics are flattering, trends are flexible, and boundaries keep on blurring.

You can still wear a maxi skirt if you’re pint-sized, out-there colours and cut-out styles if you’re over 50, sportswear if you can’t run a mile – and plus-sized models remind us to love our bodies.

Let the world know that leopards can change their spots – however we hear that rich yellows and polka dots are on the catwalks for 2020!