This home project was an alteration to an older arts-and-crafts style house that had been severely neglected.
The exterior cladding of timber shingles had rotted and many leaks were damaging the structure. As the redesign proceeded the alteration became more extensive. Eventually only the framing of the ground floor walls and first floor was maintained.
The house occupies a magnificent headland site in Westmere, with water on three sides. A narrow promontory reaches towards the north, with established trees providing privacy. Views down through the pohutukawa trunks offer tempting glimpses of the rippling sea below.
Town planning requirements required the original footprint of the building be maintained, and an existing tennis court was stifling the flow from internal spaces to the western gardens. The court was removed and the upper level designed to expand over the lawn below. The new house contains four bedrooms and a large shared office/workspace upstairs, and two living rooms and a generous kitchen-dining space at ground floor. The rooms spiral around a double height atrium, which also contains the curved staircase. Upstairs there is also a large theatre space, designed to full acoustic standards to allow professional film work to occur.
A second house on the site, closer to the road, was designed as a guest house and an artist studio, with a sound studio also for professional editing. This house provides an entry gateway beside the drive leading to the main house.
The link between the two buildings was crucial, in that the second house needed to be separate from the main house for privacy, but also linked in such a way that the parents, when working, could see children playing in the garden beside the main house. The new theatre above is supported on a myriad of delicate columns, brightly painted in Resene Red Berry, Resene Buttercup and Resene Tinpan Alley, to occupy the under croft space and also provide visual connection, against a backdrop of Resene Black White and Resene Alabaster.
The house is designed as a series of panels and extended beams floating in space, a gesture that creates dynamism and also helps reduce the apparent scale of the otherwise large house. These floating planes are identified in different colours and occur on both houses to provide continuity. The boldness of the colours gives the house a unique presence and exciting atmosphere, very appropriate for the professionally creative young family and their children. A new swimming pool was added to the north, dramatically sited on the strip of headland between the house and the sea. Solar panels draped across the roof surface heat the pool water.
Two terraces are carved in to the volume of the house, one to the north and one to the west, offering shelter from both prevailing wind directions.
Inside, Resene Eighth Pearl Lusta on walls and Resene Alabaster on the ceiling provides a neutral backdrop. Resene Silver Chalice subtly draws attention to the interior steel staircase, while the office is livened up with Resene Buttercup, Resene Bullseye, Resene Clockwork Orange and Resene Retreat on the cabinetry.
Architectural specifier: Bossley Architects
Building contractor: Good Brothers
Photographer: Mark Smith
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