The brief was for a contemporary concrete house that maximised an urban site in Remuera. The clients wanted an internationally influenced design to co-exist with mature native trees on the East boundary. The North facing site slopes away from the road. Located in the centre of a Crescent, the site affords a wide street frontage with drive on access direct from the road and via a shared right-of-way on the Eastern boundary.

The set out of the house, material selection and texture were established off the existing Pohutukawa and Puriri trees, these provide a vertical element, in contrast to the strong horizontal of the house. The floating box of the first floor is constructed in shuttered off the form concrete with a staggered horizontal board pattern, mimicking the bark on the trees. The first floor floats on a skirt of steel and glass, hovering into the tree canopy. All floors are offset from one another creating a linear horizontal element to each floor. The lower floors are clad in plaster and stone to anchor the building.

A spine wall to the side of the stair descends all three floors, connecting circulation spaces and transferring the shuttered concrete to the interior. This wall allows interaction with the material’s, texture and pattern. Light from a large skylight in the gallery spills down through an open riser staircase to the level below. Decks grace all three levels to maximise the views and northerly aspect. Horizontal dark cedar shutters on the upstairs gallery and mid-floor deck slide to provide shelter and privacy. A linear lap pool and outdoor area open off the lower level lounge and guest room apartment in the Northwest corner of the site. The overall effect is a contemporary urban home with bespoke elements, spread over several levels to sit comfortably within its urban and flora context.

Photography: David St George

Sumich Chaplin Architects
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Sumich Chaplin Architects undertake to provide creative, enduring architectural design based on a clear understanding and interpretation of a client’s brief. We work with an appreciation and respect for the surrounding landscape and environment.

Sumich Chaplin Architects pride ourselves in being a leading architectural practice. This has been recognised with numerous design awards from the New Zealand Institute of Architects. We collaborate with a highly skilled professional project team and work closely with each party to ensure our clients are delivered with the best possible outcomes.

Generally, the professionals involved for a project would be:

  • Geotechnical Engineers
  • Structural Engineers
  • Interior Designers
  • Town Planners
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