Trends New Zealand Trends Volume 32 No 2 New Zealand - Page 85

Natural attraction This contemporary home connects to its tropical garden environment via an expansive rear living area and private courtyards Sometimes ideal locations don’t seem quite so perfect when it comes to actually building on them. Negotiating the idiosyncrasies of the land can be a major part of an architect’s brief. The site for this home by Hilary Scully of Architecture Smith + Scully is a case in point. Nestled into a newly sub-divided suburban plot, the land has a flow path running through the centre of it. The house had to be raised above this to allow water to pass underneath without impediment or causing damage, says Scully. “We achieved this with a suspended concrete garage floor slab and timber pile construction. “However, beyond the flow path – towards the back of the home – we were able to step the floor level down. With the ceiling remaining at the same height, this achieved a higher stud for the large rear living pavilion and created a direct rear deck-to-ground connection.” Elsewhere, connections to the lush gardens were made via raised decks and boardwalks. As this is an inner-city site with several close neighbours, the sheltered side decks provide private outdoor rooms. The clients had wanted to connect with the tropical garden and enjoy the sun from several areas in relative privacy. Facing page: Character strengths – the exterior of this house by Architecture Smith + Scully contrasts black, battened fibre cement with rich red cedar. The garage door is detailed to not read as a door on approach. Above and following pages: At the rear, a spacious living-kitchen-dining pavilion opens up to the tropical garden environment. In contrast to this large public space, there is an intimate lounge on the floor above. search | save | share at