Wellington architect Bill Toomath talks about his life and architecture in the context of a new room he has added to his house that's based on a famous Renaissance painting.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Some years ago, Wellington architect Bill Toomath proposed the idea of constructing a ‘design den’ underneath his Roseneath house. Toomath later revised the plan and it’s finally complete – but instead of being a basement room it’s a completely new structure, built as an elegant addition to the modernist dwelling he designed in the 1960s. Toomath’s concept for this new room was quite revolutionary: “The idea somehow flashed into my mind, but from then immediately seemed inevitable, that the painting by Antonello da Messina of ‘St Jerome in his Study’ simply encapsulated the whole atmosphere of what I hoped to, or what I would like to, have lived amongst.” With his fantasy painting of a man who had lived a thousand years earlier, Antonello explored the fourth dimension of time. So does Bill’s replica – and so does this documentary. Using time-lapse and real-time cameras, Antonello and the Architect records the realisation of Bill’s idea, and provides him with an opportunity to talk about his life, architecture, and influences over a long and remarkable career.