Muricata House - JMAC Architecture | ArchiPro

Muricata House

“This house has been designed as a celebration of a Mt Maunganui lifestyle,” says architectural designer Jason MacDonald. “Situated on a full site, one street back from the beach, it is the primary residence for a professional couple and their late-teen aged children.”

Jason says the initial design phase began back in 2017 when there was an existing house on the site, which dips away from the street frontage.

“In response to the topography and in deference to the views towards Mt Maunganui itself, the house steps down the slope, with an unobstructed visual corridor from front to back.

“The sophisticated modern cedar exterior and dark accents—anchored by a concrete, tilt-panel wall—create an alluring street appeal that invites you to explore further.”

With all of the social spaces situated on the ground floor, circulation is free-flowing from the entry out onto a large, protected outdoor room at the rear of the property. A true chef’s kitchen, complete with high-quality appliances and oversized butler’s pantry, lies at the heart of the home.

“In keeping with the slope, the floor steps down but the ceiling plane remains continuous all the way through, opening up sightlines as you are led further into this expansive, yet intimate, home.

“The design is the result of a refined and innovative process, coupled with masterful craftsmanship and an absolute refusal to compromise on quality.”

The coastal surroundings provided inspiration for the material palette, says Jason.

“Vertical cedar cladding has been given a natural stain so that as it weathers over time, it will develop a patina much like the look of driftwood. Likewise, much of the palette was about setting up a light and airy, coastal feel, which we have then expressed both externally and internally.

“This pared-back palette, precise attention to detail, custom-made organic fixtures and cleverly contrasting natural elements enhance the home's warm, light-filled aesthetic. Concrete feature walls, polished to a smooth sheen, are an unexpected yet stunning contrast to the cedar walls and oak cabinetry. Each bespoke feature has a story to tell, from the imported Turkish wall tiles, aged-brass fittings and porcelain benches, to the hand-blown glass light fittings.”

The site runs east-west so the floor plan has been arranged to make the most of passive environmental design principles. This includes siting the staircase on the north-facing boundary.

“We try to take all the fundamental ESD considerations into account, which includes looking to maximise northern glazing. In this case, that meant incorporating double-height glazing to the stairwell, which allows natural light to flood the void. This openness is echoed by the crisp white, open-tread staircase that leads the home occupants to the upper level, dedicated to retreat and restful sleep spaces.

“Similarly, the concrete wall is not only an aesthetic element, it also acts as a heat sink, absorbing warmth throughout the day and then releasing it throughout the night, maintaining a constant temperature all through the year. The fireplaces are the only active heating elements in the house and even they are more aesthetic than practical.”

National finalist residential interior category at the 2020 ADNZ awards.

Construction: JC Builders
Interior: Gezellig Interiors

Words by Justin Foote.
Photography by Mark Scowen Photography.

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Located one road back from the beach at Mount Maunganui, this family home features a palette of natural materials designed to age over time.
The house has been designed with open circulation running from the front to the back, creating clear sightlines and providing passive cooling principles.
Another ESD principle is the full-height glazing on the north-facing facade, admitting natural light into the home throughout the day.
The sophisticated modern cedar exterior and dark accents—offset by polished concrete elements—create an alluring, warm aesthetic that invites you to explore further.
Outside, a large covered entertaining area with open fire provides an extension to the main living area, while flush joinery provides a seamless transition between both.
While the floor steps down in keeping with the slope of the site, the ceiling plane was kept at the same level essentially creating ever increasing volumetric spaces as the house progresses down the site.
Polished concrete and oak flooring provide a textural contrast to the muted wall tones.
Brass accents complement the sleek contemporary design of the chef's kitchen.
The mix of open and closed cabinetry, coupled with the window "splashback" creates a very light and airy feel.
Kitchen drawers of various widths and depths, along with integrated appliances, make for a highly functional kitchen, while the timber cabinetry and brass handles evoke a timeless, qaulity aesthetic.
A butler's pantry provides even more storage and functionality, while the double-height windows opposite provide ample natural light.
The simple steel and open-tread staircase keeps everything light and sculptural.
The second storey has been given over to bedrooms, keeping all the living and entertaining spaces contained to the lower level.
Natural stone tiles and vanity add textural interest and continue the theme of natural materials throughout.
Brass fixtures, cedar cladding and natural stone fittings impart a warm yet subtle aesthetic to this powder room.
Variable-width cedar cladding provides a natural backdrop to the bed and separates the sleeping zone from the walk-through wardrobe.

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