Vineyard House

Photographer: Sarah Rowlands


Designed for a growing family on the site of an old vineyard, the clients wanted a house that took in the views over the vines to the hills beyond and provided a warm, modern solution for their family.

Sited well back from the road toward the edge of a bank, we designed a simple, sculptured form with the bedroom end cranking toward the morning sun and the living toward the afternoon sun.
Split to make good use of the entry zone, doubling up to be used as a day bed, the living end dissolves into a sheltered rear courtyard and separate, disjointed reading/tv room. The roofline facets up to respond to the winter sun, adding a dynamic aesthetic to the active end of the house. The roof line extends over the deck, dissolving down to a fine edge, referencing the line of the deck below, defining the transitional space between inside and out.

Wrapped in dark-stained cedar and exposed precast concrete panels, the house is recessive in its wider context. The public side of the house responds to the client’s desire for privacy, heightened by the compression and concealment of the front door.
From the concrete and oak kitchen inside you connect to the view, living and dining space, and rear terrace. The lower oak ceiling differentiates the kitchen zone from the raking line of the ceiling beyond.

Naturally oriented to make the most of the sun, the concrete floors and walls provide good thermal mass, absorbing heat from the sun in winter, releasing it at night when the temperature cools. In summer, the same thermal mass absorbs ambient air heat while being shaded from the sun. High-level operable windows in the living end and well-positioned doors and windows allow natural cross ventilation. The large eaves, provide good sun control in the summer, keeping sun from overheating the spaces. The integration of a set-in pergola and large roof to the west aids the solar control in the afternoons. A solid wall to the west of the tv/reading room also insulates this space from overheating. We have incorporated low-energy LED lights and natural/passive cooling integrated with well-considered roof lines and supplementary heating via radiators and wood fire.


Completed: 2018
Contractors: Hamish Ryan Construction

See more by

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