Huia House - Novak + Middleton | ArchiPro

(noun) feathers of the huia, huia, Heteralocha acutirostris - a glossy black bird, now extinct, which had prized white-tipped tail feathers and orange wattles.

This project is located on the western slopes of the Waikanae Hills, looking out across Waikanae Beach and to Kapiti Island beyond.

The client’s brief called for a “light filled home that flowed well for everyday living and entertaining of friends and family, making the best possible use of the land and the view”.

The site has a strong topographical character that required careful consideration in the design and construction of a new dwelling for the site. The design solution ultimately resulted in two adjacent primary forms, split vertically and orientated parallel to the site’s topography.

When approaching the house, the exterior walls are intentionally solid providing privacy and shelter. Beyond this façade solidity gives way to transparency with living spaces and bedrooms opening to the extensive views.

The lower split level accommodates large open plan living areas that interconnect to provide spaces where various functions can occur independently but also remain connected.  Bedroom spaces are on the upper level and are more discrete providing sheltered and restful areas removed from the open plan environment.

The strong, uncomplicated form of the building heightens the experience of the site giving the feeling of being close to the elements but also protected from them at the same time. The primary forms are intentionally simple creating an understated, contemporary and timeless design, while choice of materials are minimalist but deliberate to reflect the building’s form and the nature of the site.

In the design we were keen that the architecture did not dominate or dictate the landscape, but rather that it enhanced it resulting in a house that integrates with its context, combining space, light, and timelessness.

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