McKellar Drive House

Photographer: Ben Arthur


A diagonal roofline creates a strong, sculptural form reflective of the jagged peaks and crags of the adjacent Remarkables mountain range. To the street, the roof folds down to the ground, creating an impenetrable exterior in profiled metal and Corten steel. Glazing is angular, reflecting the oblique spatial forms of the interior. These windows allow high-level views to ridgelines and peaks from the interior whilst maintaining privacy from passers-by.

To the north and west, the roof overhangs, sheltering timber and glass connections to the exterior. The dynamic roofline is emphasized by this projection with a glimpse of the interior spatiality opened-up to the street. A strong, vertical chimney helps pin this overhanging roof to the ground.

The timber soffit lining continues into the interior following the form and folds of the roof. Functional spaces are nestled within the centre of the building in an expressed box-form which further emphasizes and grounds the dynamic oblique spaces to either end.

This layout is functional as well as architectural allowing the house to function in two ways; as a large 4-bedroom home, or as two 2-bedroom units. This flexibility of function gives the owners the opportunity to use the house in different ways and future-proofs the building in the seasonally changing environment of the popular resort town.

Related articles

Lake Pupuke House

“Slid into a tight suburban site, this house, approached through a restricted and somewhat unpromising entry sequence, expands from the front door into a series of most agreeable domestic spaces. A free plan connects a series of carefully modelled rooms to the view and the

Waitamariki House

A house on a prominent hill is sunk into the ground with stone retaining walls. Services are underground with a grass roof. Living areas are nestled into the slope in copper-roofed pavilions that open out to the view. Awards: Auckland Architecture Award (Housing) 2015

Parnell House

“It may be luxurious, eclectic, even glitzy, but there is no duplicity or deceit. Only an overriding confidence, clarity and openness of spirit…..a house whose airy opulence combines purity with luxury – cool surface, clean detailing and an abundance of pure, unadulterated space – in