Garden House

Photographer: Sarah Rowlands Photography



2019 Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) New Zealand Architect Home of the Year – Highly Commended
2019 Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Kitchen Awards – Runner Up (Architect Designed Category)

The brief required a home for entertaining and rest that would seamlessly integrate with the neighbourhood, it also called to maximise a dog-legged site to capture sunlight and views. The resulting house is sympathetic to its neighbours, providing privacy through the careful composition of building form and light.
Following the site’s shape, the building unfurls in a series of enigmatic light-filled spaces within a logical building plan composed of courtyards and outdoor zones, each positioned to follow the sun’s path. The formal entrance is bordered by a concealed garage, connected to the house by a ‘zen’-like covered link. Opposite is the core of the home, featuring Timaru bluestone walls at the ground floor level, anchoring the house to the ground. Inside, firm materiality gives way to light and openness where entertaining is made easy with a well-appointed kitchen and seamless indoor-outdoor flow; typified by the interconnected living room and louvered outdoor room. Though warm and inviting, the living-dining area features full height glazing on two sides and a double-height atrium above to enhance the garden connection at both levels. The dramatic upper floor floats neatly above, containing bedrooms and attached bathrooms. Despite its striking proportions the building remains a truly liveable family home, with comfortable spaces, warm materials, and textured finishes throughout.

Kitchen Design
The custom-designed kitchen was to be the heart of the home, with high-end appliances and finishes, as well as a full butlers pantry.
The dark colour of most of the cupboard fronts was chosen to create the feeling of intimacy in the kitchen area, while still being part of the large, open and airy living and dining space.
In contrast to the dark kitchen area, the full butlers’ pantry features a predominantly white aesthetic.

Sustainability statement
The environmental considerations that influenced the project design was mainly by using a passive design approach. Thought was put into the building’s orientation on the site to take advantage of natural light, providing the occupants with a north/west outlook with large areas of glazing provided.
Temperature control comes into play with this amount of glazing. To combat overheating in Summer, the building has incorporated overhangs on the north and west elevations; external fixed sunscreens to the upper level of the double-height spaces; and an adjustable louvred roof over the courtyard gives precise sun control. Being well insulated, using double glazing with minimal glazing on the south façade helps to combat any heat losses and there is also an in-slab heating system on the ground floor.
The house design is very effective for natural ventilation, the living area has large opening doors east and west for efficient cross-ventilation, as well as having a large feature double-height space, this has high-level windows to remove any warm rising air.
The building has incorporated natural cladding materials using Timaru Bluestone and Cedar. There is also a gravel roof with filter fabric for the rainwater entering the stormwater system.

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