Designed Around YOU! – A Box™ Mindset

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New Zealanders love to create – they’re not the sit back and let-it-happen sorts. Innovation and action is in their genes. That’s why when it comes to the design of their own homes, in general, they’re pretty involved. We get that.

Our architectural team moulds our design to your lifestyle and your ideas. Yes, we have a curated set of parts to choose from (full-height glazing and doors, samples of flooring and cabinetry fronts we know suits our modernist aesthetic) – but also, we can personalise a plan to suit your site and a look to make your home fit your needs and fulfil your ambitions. Architecture is meant to be expressive. Doing it together makes it efficient too. Here are some ways we’ve worked together with clients in the past:

In Westmere, Auckland, the building platform straddled a stormwater drain. Our solution was to ‘suspend’ the house between two plinths and form a landscaped entry courtyard beneath it which allows the council 24/7 access to the drain. Inside, the art-loving owners wanted a balance of open-plan flow and intimate rooms. A double-sided fireplace in the centre of the main living room divides the space, creates an eye-catching focal point and gives them even more wall space on which to display their collections.

A stunning hillside site in Pataua North called for a design that magnified the wraparound views. Extended on poles above the hill, this home has our standard let-the-light-shine-in glazing, a covered deck for shelter from the elements and square-tiled cork flooring to channel the nostalgia of the Kiwi bach.

What do you do when you have a problematic Waiheke Island section where the steep access makes diggers too dangerous? You build modules in a factory then crane them into place. A pole house made up of six pods where the industrial metal roofing wraps down to clad the walls delivered coastal comforts to this French couple in a low-key, honest way. A built-in wine-fridge in the kitchen was a special request we happily accommodated.

We’re proud that the kitchen design in Kaiwaka achieved a TIDA award but what makes us more satisfied is that this couple who currently split their time between Auckland and the Northland settlement say their new place instantly feels like home. They didn’t want an aesthetic that was too rural or industrial and so the practicality of concrete floors is softened with ceilings and walls clad in Adobo timber boards. The kitchen is a dark insertion but skylights flood the scheme with light, easing the owners’ transition from city living to comfort in the country.

Sub-dividing a Hillsborough section where they had lived for decades was a natural option for a couple nearing retirement. These keen gardeners wanted to build without destroying what they had nurtured for years. A well-considered plan worked within these parameters and the swimming pool was installed first. Their new home reads as two clearly articulated volumes where the upper storey slides forward to create outdoor living below. Inside, the home is contemporary yet cosy – and the garden a magnificent living backdrop.