Urban House

Simon Devitt

On a sloped site with a width of 10.5 metres that doglegs between two Freeman Bay streets, the client envisioned a modern house with a pool for herself and three sons.

The main street frontage was conceived as a folding of form to adopt the facade lines of the two disparate neighbouring architectural typologies. The fold facilitates a pedestrian entry into the house. The entry lands in a circle of water. The living area is broken into public and private space by a mirrored service core housing a bar, a bathroom and the stair leading to the main bedroom.

The pool courtyard was developed as a pivot to rotate the axis along the secondary leg of the site. The far end of the pool court provides a seating area to view the city whilst functioning as the roof of the children’s wing. Access to this wing runs down along side the pool courtyard. As these rooms are on a gradient at the lower end of the site, a level lawn area was constructed for them to play.

This house was conceived as a sculptural insertion within a existing urban context. Elements of the neigbouring houses were acknowledged and appropriated, including the gutter height of the bungalow and the frontage lines of both houses. The gable roof forms were assimilated but inverted in the entry stair. We play with the traditional villa construct of the ‘front room’ that is public to the street, while other areas of the house are carefully screened to limit neighbourly intrusion.

New Zealand Architecture | 2007

Urbis – Issue 31

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