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Simkin Residence


They presented bbc architects with a challenge to make the interior distinctive, while remaining simple.

The project brief described a family home with generous spaces on a striking site. As their young family grow the clients need space for them to share, and to retreat to. They presented bbc architects with a challenge to make the interior distinctive, while remaining simple. Detail was important, and there were many conversations over the material palette, and how the materials would add definition though texture and natural colour.

Home exterior and views

It was always important for the house to create a series of outdoor spaces where there was a strong visual connection to the sea, but where wind would be mitigated by the layout, always providing sheltered spaces. The form itself needed to be bold to bring order to a harsh surrounding landscape. The wing roof form provided an axis to the living spaces and accentuation of the fineness of these spaces against the more impermeable block of the bedrooms and entry.

The clients also enjoy welcoming others to their home, and wanted a house that would accommodate visiting families with ease, where children and adults could occupy separate parts of the house, while still being visually connected. The pool and the landscaping were priorities, and these areas would form an extension of the inside world.

Dining room

The house had to create its own privacy, the site is exposed and the immediate environment barren. The family wanted to have a strong entrance wall, which protected the private realm. A generous parking area was required due to the long driveway. The brief was a combination of an almost-rural house (no near neighbours, a distance from the street, and a car-ride from amenities) and a very urban one (striking in its formal entrance presentation, quite impermeable to the exterior, on a site with little flat land). A bold occupation of a rugged site.

The painting colour scheme is all neutrals and whites in keeping with the modernist feel of the place. Resene Merino is the predominant colour with varying greys of Resene Half Rakaia in the formal lounge and guest bedroom, Resene Half Stonehenge in the children’s lounge, Resene Half Ash in another bedroom, Resene Fuscous Grey in the lounge and Resene Half Fuscous Grey on bathroom vanities.

Kitchen and window seat
Design detail, stairway feature
Stairway, lounge

As there are large full height widows on the lower level looking out into the site it was decided that the view and hints of this outlook should be the defining aesthetic in the spaces, the background colours were always to be in harmony with the warmer installations of the timber floors and bespoke wall units as well as the sharp modern features such as the kitchen and steel stair.

Architectural specifier: Nic Ballara, bbc architects ltd
Building contractor: Murray Stirat, MJS Construction
Painting contractor: Nathan Flett
Photographer: Richard Ainsworth
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2015

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