Inside Story: Josephine and John Love

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Josephine and John Love.

Josephine and John Love. Image: David Straight

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Family portraits are an essential element of the Love’s home.

Family portraits are an essential element of the Love’s home. Image: David Straight

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Dining table surrounded by Ghost Chairs.

Dining table surrounded by Ghost Chairs. Image: David Straight

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“We want to create spaces we’d be happy living in ourselves…” – Josephine Love.

“We want to create spaces we’d be happy living in ourselves…” – Josephine Love. Image: David Straight

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The outdoor area has been devised for socialising and includes a fireplace area, a swimming pool and an outdoor pool table.

The outdoor area has been devised for socialising and includes a fireplace area, a swimming pool and an outdoor pool table. Image: David Straight

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Naughty Gnomes: "I went to an art fair in 2009, saw them at a stand and wanted them straight away. They’re by Ottmar Hoerl and they’re a little bit cheeky. I love that."

Naughty Gnomes: “I went to an art fair in 2009, saw them at a stand and wanted them straight away. They’re by Ottmar Hoerl and they’re a little bit cheeky. I love that.” Image: David Straight

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Max Gimblett: "I’ve always wanted something by Max and this is from the Art of Remembrance series he did for St David’s in Auckland. I just love his free-spirited style."

Max Gimblett: “I’ve always wanted something by Max and this is from the Art of Remembrance series he did for St David’s in Auckland. I just love his free-spirited style.” Image: David Straight

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Deborah Paauwe, <em>Ballerinas</em>: "Deborah's pieces have a way of reflecting life and society, perfect from a distance but flaws evident when viewed in more detail."

Deborah Paauwe, Ballerinas: “Deborah’s pieces have a way of reflecting life and society, perfect from a distance but flaws evident when viewed in more detail.” Image: David Straight

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Shane Cotton bats: "We love collecting art with our children in mind (Arabella, 21 months, and Max, 6). Ideally, things that will outlast their toys!"

Shane Cotton bats: “We love collecting art with our children in mind (Arabella, 21 months, and Max, 6). Ideally, things that will outlast their toys!” Image: David Straight

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Luke Jacomb glassware: "I’ve always enjoyed glassware, but these, they’re just this beautiful combination of opaque and colour, and the detailing on top; how do you even do that?"

Luke Jacomb glassware: “I’ve always enjoyed glassware, but these, they’re just this beautiful combination of opaque and colour, and the detailing on top; how do you even do that?” Image: David Straight

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Michael Kopietz apoxy sculpture: "There’s something so textural about it that people love to run their hands around it. It’s great to have art you can touch and feel."

Michael Kopietz apoxy sculpture: “There’s something so textural about it that people love to run their hands around it. It’s great to have art you can touch and feel.” Image: David Straight

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Michael Parekowhai photograph: "Michael visited several French sites associated with NZ troops during WWI, all these flowers grow on the battleground of Messines."

Michael Parekowhai photograph: “Michael visited several French sites associated with NZ troops during WWI, all these flowers grow on the battleground of Messines.” Image: David Straight

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Bedroom ensemble: "To me, this signifies home. I have to be surrounded by family photos. I’m obsessed with Tom Dixon's candles and the relaxing atmosphere they create."

Bedroom ensemble: “To me, this signifies home. I have to be surrounded by family photos. I’m obsessed with Tom Dixon’s candles and the relaxing atmosphere they create.” Image: David Straight

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Parison pendant lights: "Their unusual shape creates really lovely crystalline patterns on the walls. Also, John loves to read in bed and I find these are easier to sleep with."

Parison pendant lights: “Their unusual shape creates really lovely crystalline patterns on the walls. Also, John loves to read in bed and I find these are easier to sleep with.” Image: David Straight

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Neon sign: "I’d really love to have a Tracey Emin neon work, but this will do for now. It’s a bit cheeky, but not everyone seems to read what it says straight away!"

Neon sign: “I’d really love to have a Tracey Emin neon work, but this will do for now. It’s a bit cheeky, but not everyone seems to read what it says straight away!” Image: David Straight

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Apartment developers Josephine and John Love are planning to reinvigorate Auckland’s Aotea Square through a daring and sophisticated project. Here they share some of the objects that make them feel at home.

Family portraits are an essential element of the Love’s home.  Image:  David Straight

For people embarking on one of the more ambitious apartment projects Auckland has seen recently, the Love’s seem remarkably chilled.

If they laugh the observation off with references to remedial champagne, there’s no hiding the scale of the responsibility they’ve assumed. The blandly-titled Auckland City Council Administration Building looming above Aotea Square is at once hugely divisive and hugely important.

It also carries a category A historic listing so, despite the wishes of a large chunk of the city, knocking it flat and starting again isn’t an option, yet somehow this Remuera couple aim to transform it into one of the most sought-after addresses in the city.

OK, they may be zealous promoters of apartment life who live in a swish suburban home that doesn’t stint on the mod cons (they have two kids, so we’ll cut them some slack) but Josephine Love has good credentials.

Max Gimblett: “I’ve always wanted something by Max and this is from the Art of Remembrance series he did for St David’s in Auckland. I just love his free-spirited style.” Image:  David Straight

She is director of design for her parents’ company, Tawera Group, which has a strong reputation based on award-winning boutique developments such as the St James and York St Apartments, the Hopetoun Residences in Auckland, and the Chaffers Dock Apartments on the Wellington waterfront.

It was the latter that, not only brought Josephine into the business, it also led to her running the on-site art gallery, Chaffers, which is almost her perfect job as she’s been collecting art since she was 18.

She’s also absorbed plenty from Tawera’s success. For her, the ideal apartment first and foremost enables a certain lifestyle by providing a liveable, easily maintained space within a vibrant, urban environment. 

“That’s always the intent. We want to create spaces we’d be happy living in ourselves, but more practically we also need to learn from cities like New York and London. Auckland can’t continue to sprawl. We need to intensify and apartments are the ideal tool to achieving this. They should never be seen as the last resort for first-home buyers or empty nesters wanting to downsize. The right apartment should make your life even more enjoyable while expanding those lifestyle opportunities.’’

Parison pendant lights: “Their unusual shape creates really lovely crystalline patterns on the walls. Also, John loves to read in bed and I find these are easier to sleep with.” Image:  David Straight

But John Love, Tawera Group’s principal, is adamant their future owner/occupiers should expect to be involved beyond their front door. For any apartment complex to flourish he says each resident must be invested beyond the walls of their private space. A sense of community can’t be imposed; it must be built.

So, it’s been a hectic two years since they beat off 60 competitive tenders and began working to convince a somewhat sceptical public of the high-minded merits of The Cab (as the apartment building is called).

The Loves hope the 18-storey building will become a hub of activity, arts and culture that will eventually include an arts centre, a high-end hotel, another luxury apartment building and plenty of hospitality, retail and child care to cater for the lucky urbanites and, in a way, the city as a whole.  


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