Patrick Reynolds, Ernie Shackles

Access to the site is via a long right-of-way on a ledge carved out of a northwest-facing Remuera slope, previously occupied by an ageing house and a tennis court. The project for a new dwelling eventuated after an attempt to undertake an alteration proved expensive. The decision to start fresh came with the clients stipulation that the budget shall remain that of the alteration cost – budget was a key driver in terms of materiality decisions and efficiency of space.

The brief was to provide for a growing family and to retain the tennis court, as well as providing a new swimming pool. The house was to occupy the tenuous sloping ground between the tennis court below and the vehicle access above. The existing retaining wall that surrounded the tennis court formed a threshold of sorts.

Conceptually the design evolved to create platforms that capture the sun and delineate built form with the surrounding designed landscape. Housing the distinct parts of the brief, two equal square footprints were spaced by an entry void. The complexity of the design involved the sculptural weaving of various landscape connections and the requirements of the brief across the multiple levels of living space. The two squares were skewed on the site with the access located in between, so that as you enter you are greeted by a framed view of the pool overlooking the leafy suburbs beyond.

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