Modernist Masterpiece - David Reid Homes | ArchiPro

Modernist Masterpiece

Courtyards may have existed since ancient times but the California modernists claimed this built form as their own when they wrapped a house around it and inserted a pool. This home, in Auckland’s Westmere, recreates that modernist feel with a courtyard that is just made for entertaining; the blue slash of pool is minimal and cool, a study in geometric precision against a granite-wall backdrop.

“We bought the property, with its existing house—a fairly run down 1940s weatherboard and brick home—and lived in it for a couple of years,” says Martin Wiltshire, Managing Director for David Reid Homes North Shore.

“The gently sloping 960sqm site was a rare find for the area and while it’s relatively narrow at only 18-metres wide, it offered not only a lot of potential but also an established bush backdrop. We carried out extensive site works to build up what became the middle section of the property to create the central courtyard area but went with the slope for about the first 40-metres and left the last 10-metres alone.”

From the street, the home, with its horizontal roof planes, looks decidedly modern. The cladding of narrow cedar boards runs vertically in gentle counterpoint to the horizontal lines of the architecture.

“My wife had seen homes with a similar aesthetic in Central Otago and at Omaha and was really set on achieving something with the same kind of look and feel. We’ve kept the cladding materials to a minimum to ensure a clean, pared-back look.”

In size and appearance, it’s all very low key. However, once through the front door, there is an inkling of something special to come. An open-tread, suspended timber staircase floats in the entry space. From here, the design reveals itself slowly—until a corner is turned and the ‘wow’ moment that takes in the courtyard becomes apparent.

“While concrete floors, black-framed glazing and white walls in the main living areas are minimalist, almost brutal, they are not stark. We also used a lot of oak cabinetry and flooring for texture and warmth.

“On the fireplace wall, the paintwork has subtle texture that reflects the abundant light that streams through floor-to-ceiling glass sliders. A built-in timber ledge is both a hearth and bench-seats that flank the fire and bring symmetry to the space. Dark-gold squabs are a colourful, warming element against a pair of custom-designed white sofas.”

In the kitchen, appliances are integrated behind American oak cabinetry and a tiled splashback has brown veining, providing an urbane twist. Open shelving above the island features integrated LED lighting to provide additional illumination for food preparation. The butler’s pantry has the toaster, jug and blender on one side—to contain the morning mayhem—and a wine fridge and cocktail making station on the other, for more grown-up entertaining options.

“We have three girls, so creating spaces that enabled separation as well as communal areas was a must. There are three living areas, one on each level, along with four bedrooms and a raft of outdoor spaces. Connection to the outdoors is probably the best feature, with almost every room having views out onto the bush backdrop.”

Words by Justin Foote.

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From the street, the home, with its horizontal roof planes, looks decidedly modern. The cladding of narrow cedar board runs vertically in gentle counterpoint.
An open-tread, suspended timber staircase creates a floating element in the entry space.
Stone-look tiles first encountered outside extend into the interior creating a feature element and setting up a recurring motif found in other spaces within the home.
Suspended shelving above the island helps create a bar-like atmosphere around the kitchen.
The butler’s pantry has the toaster, jug and blender on one side—to contain the morning mayhem—and a wine and cocktail making station on the other.
To create a number of dedicated spaces for family members to retreat to, three living areas have been incorporated throughout the home; one on each level.
The main bedroom is a study in refined elegance with a muted colour palette teamed with timber and brass accents.
The main en suite bathroom continues the pared-back palette of muted tones and timbers.
A central courtyard with swimming pool was created on the middle level, a central tenet of the California Modern architectural style.
Tucked into the corner, a conversation pit with open fire provides a more intimate space within the wider outdoor entertaining area.
From the rear, the geometric precision of the home is brought to the fore.

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