Remuera - New Build - Ninety45 | ArchiPro

Remuera - New Build

When it’s the right location but the wrong house, you have a couple of options, renovate or rebuild. That’s the situation one family faced in the Auckland suburb of Remuera when deciding what to do with the ex-state house they had purchased.

“At 109sqm the house was too small for their requirements; the discovery of asbestos sealed the deal and the house was demolished and removed,” says Scott Thrupp, Managing Director of Ninety45.

“What remained was a 635sqm site that was fairly flat for around two-thirds of its length before rising steeply at the back. The architectural plan incorporated the change in slope into the design creating a series of split levels within the home.

Scott says that while the build was pretty straightforward, a number of complexities meant it required a high level of detail and skill.

“The site required a lot of piling so we made the decision to use screw piles, which massively speeded up the process, allowing us to install 50–60 piles a day. The same process would have taken weeks if we had gone with traditional piles.

“During this process we uncovered a massive hole, which turned out to be part of an old river bed full of decomposed vegetation, which obviously added another level of intricacy to the process.”

The new house is 244sqm with a further 200sqm of external paved areas with both spaces incorporating a lot of in situ concrete.

“Internally, the floors in the main living areas are polished concrete with exposed aggregate. A lot of planning went into achieving the satin-like finish, which required a lot of flooding of the slab at the start and then ensuring everyone stayed off it for two weeks.

“Similarly, all of the concrete staircases were completed in situ and installed right at the start of the project, which required ongoing protection of their surfaces during the construction phase. Personally, I think all of the in situ concrete stairs and floors are stand out features.”

Part of the home’s street appeal is its striking black and white scheme, which Scott says also required a high level of skill to get right.

“The white pavilions feature a bagged-brick finish with inset battens on the gable ends, which, as well as providing visual interest, on the street-facing facade conceal a bifolding slatted screen that provides privacy while mitigating solar gain.

“The black pavilions are clad in a metal snap-lock profile. The metal cladding was tricky to seamlessly integrate in with the joinery, but the end result is well worth the added complexity.

“The whole house has been highly specced and detailed, starting with the timber framing, which is 6x2 rather than the standard 4x2 and then there’s the skillion roof treatment, which resulted in a lot of work-arounds in order to conceal services that would normally be housed in the roof space.

“The final detail is, quite literally, the cherry on top, or in this case the chimney. The homeowners wanted to create something that complemented the architectural detailing of the home and therefore wanted a free-standing element, which doesn’t sound like much but was actually quite fiddly. We ended up making a chimney cowl out of stainless steel so that it was self-supporting with no tie backs to the house.

“All of these little additions certainly add up to create an exemplary whole and the owners have created for themselves a resort-style home where they can feel like they're on holiday all year round.”

Awards: Gold award at the 2020 Registered Master Builders House of the Year Auckland Region.

Words by: Justin Foote

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Reading as two striking pavilions from the road, this new home in the Auckland suburb of Remuera features various living zones that wrap around a large courtyard with tiled pool.
A bifolding slatted screen—which reads as a seamless wall when closed—provides privacy from the street while also mitigating solar gain.
The skillion ceiling adds volumetric space to the living area while the bagged-brick chimney breast matches the exterior cladding of the white pavilions.
Stacking doors allow easy flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces while the level transition plays up the open pavilion feel.
The house has been set up for large-scale entertaining with multiple areas all radiating off the courtyard space.
Following the contour of the site, steps lead up from the courtyard to the custom swimming pool and the two bedroom pavilions.
The open plan kitchen and dining area is light and breezy thanks to the neutral colour palette and the courtyard spaces on two sides.
A dramatic peninsula-style island is a bold addition to the kitchen with the cool stone and warm timber complementing each other.
A small courtyard space adds a zen-like zone to the living area and allows for natural cross-ventilation of the home.
A small study adds a level of practicality to the programme and is a clever use of additional space.
The main bedroom is a study in comfort with neutral tones providing a serene palette.
The bathroom has a modern-classic feel with on-trend subway tiling from floor to ceiling, coupled with black tapware and wooden cabinets.
A clever use of space has allowed for the inclusion of a custom concrete swimming pool.
The view from the main bedroom encapsulates the resort-style feel of this home, which has been designed for fun in the sun.

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