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Spitaki House

This colour palette is inspired by the Michael Smithers' artwork, which uses colours as musical notation...

After building their own house 30 years ago and watching the family grow and change, the clients (an historian and an artist) were keen on fresh beginnings. A love of craft and an appreciation of the practical, compact plans of certain state houses were some of the things that formed part of initial design conversations with Lovell & O’Connell Architects.


Spitaki House is the outcome and perches just above where they first built, replacing one of the small workingman’s cottages that face Island Bay Beach. The house has a sculptural form and roof that stealthily hugs against the hill. A rippled ply ceiling cradles the jewel box spaces below. Pared back with simple lines and cedar cladding, the house orientates to the sun with split level living spaces that frame views to the north and east. The stained cedar cladding matches coastal weathered timber. Colour is injected into the design via the walls and soffit of the two enclosed deck areas, using Resene Lumbersider tinted to Resene Wild Thing (bright yellow gold). Colour matched by Resene to the local kowhai flower, the walls and soffit of the decks create a lively contrast to the subdued cedar cladding.


Blurring the boundaries of architecture and art the dining room deck has a large scale painted artwork based on a Michael Smither’s artwork with permission from the artist. The entry door is welcoming in Resene Lustacryl tinted to Resene Bright Red (pure red). Internally the wall paint colour, Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Double Alabaster (grey white), is neutral to let the owner’s collection of sculpture and art and the rippled ply ceiling sing.

Spitaki House by Lovell & O’Connell Architects won the Resene Total Colour Residential Exterior Maestro Award. The judges said: “this colour palette is inspired by the Michael Smithers’ artwork, which uses colours as musical notation. Wrapped into a more neutral exterior, it’s like a bold jewel box that is enjoyed by its owners, a welcoming torch light inviting warmth into the heart of the home. The hue on this home’s exterior provides a gentle halo glow of yellow to the interior, bringing a sense of sunshine indoors regardless of the weather.

It’s a warm and inspired use of colour.”

Architectural specifier: Lovell & O’Connell Architects
Building contractor: Peter Camp Builders
Other key contributor – artist for feature: Michael Smither
Winner: Resene Total Colour Residential Exterior Maestro Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2017
From the Resene News – issue 1/2018

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