The Blackbird

Photographer: Simon Devitt


From a distance the house sits like a blackbird atop a hill, watching and waiting (a nod to the legend of Maui and Tieke): with its black vertical sheet metal corrugate cladding and matching black aluminium joinery.
The profile of the house is an elegant gable that peers through the surrounding urban landscape. This was an important trick to the design: how to shimmy itself into a small site in a much-beloved Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn. It seems settled into its busy neighbourhood. It is different and in happy contrast to the other buildings which are all dancing together “Under a Surrey Crescent Moon”.
The interior palette is a soft grey, pastel and dark green. There is a theme of circles throughout, the screen is a nonsensical Morse code of dots and dashes; the circular steel posts to the porch; Flos IC pendants in the lounge; an Eames ‘Hang it all’ adorning the hall wall; Mutina floor tiles in the bathrooms and entry.
The house sits in the middle of its 300m2 site. A true City Home, every part of the site is considered. To the west, a long garden takes in the afternoon with chairs, a dining table and BBQ. To the east is a service court which houses the washing line, vegetable garden, storage sheds and rubbish bay. The motor court has parking for three cars.

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