The rural new build with a touch of glam

Written by

30 July 2022


4 min read

An inspired solution to a difficult site in Auckland’s Bombay Hills.

A professional couple wanting a peaceful lifestyle were in a spot of trouble trying to get a house designed that would work on the site they’d bought in Auckland’s Bombay Hills. One company had already tried and failed.

Luckily they turned to Brendon Hamill of David Reid Homes. They called his office in Pukekohe and he agreed to visit the section with them.

“After I left the site, before I even got to the end of the road, I knew what we had to do there. I actually rang the clients before I got back to the office and said I had an idea and it’s the right thing to do. And that’s what we’ve got today.”

It was a difficult site, he says. It was big, but steep. It had quite a contour, was in close proximity to a road, and there was an underlying slip zone.

“It did have its components that were challenging but they weren’t insurmountable. When you understand the industry and what can be done to achieve success on a site, you just keep jumping hurdles to find the most economical way for the clients to get to the end result.”

The house in Auckland’s Bombay Hills designed by Brendon Hamill of David Reid Homes in Pukekohe. The stunning outlook belies the complications of the site but there’s plenty of room for the homeowners’ sheep, pigs and chickens.
The two uses of the concrete tilt panels are on show at the entrance. On the garage/guest room/den end, the textured side is used vertically. On the main part of the house, the texture is inside and planting enhances the smooth concrete externally.

The clients bought the site because it had a rural setting they were after and it was relatively affordable, he says. “But that's the trick with cheap sites. There's a reason that it's cheap because you’ve got to spend a lot of money getting out of the ground. So there are about 30 or 40 piles along the front that we used not just to stabilise the land but to support the deck and the front of the house as well.”

The homeowners wanted a three-bedroom family home. “They actually wanted two storeys to start with, and I had to convince them otherwise. Single levels are the best and this site just leads to it.”

Brendon’s plan resolved every issue, using two long low forms that are slightly offset.

“Everything just unravelled in front of me for that site. It’s perfect. It’s a nice long house and I wanted to tuck it into the hill from the roadside so you don’t really see it. But when you get into the place, it just opens up to the landscape. It’s quite a good home for them in that way; they wanted to be in touch with nature and live with animals around them. They can see them right there.”

Brendon says every aspect of a build is communicated to clients, including interiors. “We'll report back to clients about how much things are going to cost so they can make the decisions. It's a very open, honest conversation all the way through.”
David Reid Homes collaborated with Cube Dentro and the homeowners on the luxe interiors. “Raked ceilings through the lounge and kitchen area and through into the master bedroom follow the roofline,” says Brendon.
The long run of hallway, with concrete tilt panels on display and an artwork by the homeowners. Afternoon light enters through the skylights and washes down the walls, says Brendon.

Brendon made the most of the elongated layout.

“I really wanted every transition to have a view. So there's only a short part of the hallway that doesn't. The rest of it has all got outdoor views.”

The front entrance opens up to glazing so you immediately see the outlook through the other side. But the house has a grounded feeling with sturdy construction.

“The clients came to one of our showhomes and saw the concrete tilt panels and liked them. The panels not only have an insulation quality to them, they have a texture as well. Their impression is a rough-sawn finish. That gave me the opportunity to use it as a retaining wall and in the main internal part of the house as well. As part of the retaining we kept the smooth side on the outside. We talked early on about growing a plant and they’ve put a creeper onto it and it looks fantastic. But then on the other side of the wall, in the house it runs the whole length of the hallway. It just lengthens that hallway magnificently and every time someone goes there I can bet you they touch the wall.”

Brendon says David Reid Homes provides clients with a full service from planning and engineering through to working with interior designers, providing peace of mind.

“The buck stops with me, so from the clients’ point of view it’s just me to talk to and they’ll get a straight answer,” says Brendon. “It’s what we do every day and there’s no smoke and mirrors.”

In the main bedroom, the ceilings are clad in American ash battens. “It really gives a warm feel to it,” says Brendon.
The guest bedroom, away from the main end of the house. “So if they did have guests stay for a bit longer, then they would get the opportunity to feel comfortable in their own space.”
The homeowners knew what they wanted in terms of interiors, says Brendon. “In this case, it’s such a spectacular house because they really did bling it out inside.”
The robust concrete spine allows the house to open out to the rural views. The hard part of any build, says Brendon, is in the last few days when the clients are itching to move in before it’s quite finished.

Discover more exciting projects by David Reid Homes.