Nelson House


Photographer: Paul McCredie


This project is a new home for a young family. Set on a sloping site in a suburban environment overlooking Nelson City, the harbour and mountains beyond, it is within walking and cycling distance to work and the town centre.
The house is formed by two volumes. A tall two-storey steel form hugs the south boundary turning its back to an adjacent access way with milk laminate windows. On the north side, it is open to the sun and garden culminating in an outdoor room. A lower timber entry wing follows the eastern boundary. Together they maximise the private and sunny spaces to the north and west. Comprehensive landscaping has and provided a flat lawn for the young children, decks and outdoor bathing.
Entry to the house is via a sunken east-facing courtyard space that will become more private from the street as the planting matures. A tall entrance doubles as a dining space and a central pivot. Living spaces extend from here to the north – kitchen, main living, and the outside living room. The “peace room” extends to the west behind a bright yellow door. A yoga studio is concealed behind on a half level. The upper level contains children’s bedrooms that can open out into the corridor space via large yellow sliding doors. Office space is also included on this level integrated with the stair.
This home uses basic passive solar principles, solar hot water heating, generous insulation, and natural materials together with more sophisticated means, such as an air to water heat pump to heat the house. This makes it an energy-efficient house with a low impact on both the environment and neighbourhood.

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