The Grand Designs House

A hillside haven with views of the Manukau Harbour.

On roaming the site with our clients for the first site visit we found ourselves on a heavily treed gulch with an active water course perched on the edge of an eroding cliff, that afforded the occasional glimpse of the Manukau harbour through the foliage.

Our clients had lived at a different location on the site for 25 years and wanted to create a home that lived amongst the trees and opened up the views to the harbour.

Post and beam structural exoskeleton construction on variable piles was used allowing us to locate the floor levels to suit the tree canopy levels and get the structural envelope up as soon as possible. This allowed the house to sit above the gulch and provide platforms for viewing.

Full walls of windows open to two specific view lines, perpendicular to each other. One a vast view across the harbour, the other more dappled through mature pohutukawas. These axis provides the formal orientation of the house.

Externally the house is darkly finished timber products, to recede as much as possible into the bush setting. Internally clean white surfaces play off stainless steel and timber features to provide a restful environment where the differing views act as the main material.

This was an investigation in the use of systemized construction process to both help the ease of construction on a difficult site, but also to provide an enduring architectural result.

FLOOR AREA HOUSE:

184 square metres

BEDROOMS:

2

LIVING AREAS:

1

BATHROOMS:

2

CLADDING:

Cedar

FLOORING:

American Oak

ROOFING:

Colorsteel

INSULATION:

Glasswool

KITCHEN BENCH:

Client Supplied

KITCHEN CABINETRY:

Client Supplied

BATHROOM CABINETRY:

Client Supplied

BATHROOM FLOORING:

Mobile Ceramics ink-jet printed,
rectified tiles

LIGHTING:

Lightplan LED lights

DECKING:

Vitex