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Located on a main arterial road and faced with high neighbours overlooking from the North and South, this small narrow site required a considered approach that would create privacy within the house, whilst still maintaining ample light, sun from the North and valley views to the West and towards Maungawhau to the East. 

Concrete and steel present a solid face to the busy Mount Eden Road, while within the fabric of the house, solid and void create moments of introspection juxtaposed with framed openings ofering views to the surrounds, connecting to both the immediate site and the neighbourhood beyond. The covered entry courtyard, conceived as a transition between public and private, provides relief in the form of an indoor garden lined with band-sawn Lawson Cypress and filled with native plants including a living herb wall. Bleeding into this space, the dining and kitchen utilise the courtyard’s glazed roof to allow light to penetrate deep into the Southern part of the house. Above, emphasised through double height spaces within the living and kitchen areas, a timber cradle accommodates the first floor bedrooms and bathroom, amplifying the sense of verticality created by the large gable roof. 

Looking to utilise the conditions of the site further, the large North-face of the gable roof provides for an expansive array of Photovoltaic panels to harness the suns energy, allowing the house to become a potential Net Zero Energy dwelling. A bank of water tanks to the South accommodates water collection and storage for use within the house and gardens. Encompassing a double layer wrap system, high levels of insulation contribute to internal comfort in both winter and summer, while the adjacent pool provides additional passive cooling to the living area in the warmer months.

NZIA Awards Jury Citation: ‘Spatial complexity is handled with ease and classic planning devices, such as indoor-outdoor flow and open plan living areas, are disrupted in this house which blurs the definition between indoors and out. Generous to the passing public, yet providing private space for an extended family, this oasis in one of Auckland’s busiest streets offers a textured layering of space as it transitions between street and garden.’

NZIA Local Award Winner - 2017 - Housing
Home Magazine - Home of the Year 2017 - Finalist
Trends International Design Awards - 2017 - New Zealand Architect-Designed Kitchen - Highly Commended

Photography by © Simon Devitt 

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About the

Strachan Group Architects is a multiple award-winning Auckland practice. Grounded in a specific and detailed first-hand knowledge of construction the team brings a highly developed sense of craft to the task of creating sustainable buildings with precision and elegance.

The keen sense of attention that the practice brings to the interpretation of a client’s brief is equalled by a rich and complex understanding of how to respond to the subtleties of site, the impacts of the natural environment, and the many contexts within which a building must operate. To these qualities SGA adds a precise understanding of the requirements of construction, with an advanced level of experience of prefabrication and the use of digitally controlled machinery in the fabrication of building elements under tightly controlled conditions.

SGA takes pride in it's ability to communicate ideas about building as they develop in conversation with clients, consultants and contractors. This skill has been honed in the extensive involvement the practice has had in education, where it has delivered a number of design/build projects with architecture students that have been recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects by a series of Awards.

Recognised by their peers as an innovative and exciting practice, SGA consists of a group of highly skilled people with a diverse range of complimentary skills. This flexible team is highly attuned to new developments in the building industry, appreciated by their many clients and capable of undertaking work at any scale.