When we were approached by clients who work in a different sector of the design and build industry (and thus have an exacting eye for design) to create an urban home for them on this section in a leafy location in the city-fringe suburb of Auckland’s Westmere, we couldn’t believe our good fortune. Ah-ha. Small catch. The council required 24/7 access to storm-water services that sat slap- bang in the middle of the natural building platform. Of course, we took up the challenge with customary gusto, organised our collective thoughts and came up with an innovative solution.
Our combined design build team came up with the plan of a ‘suspended’ single-level dwelling effectively slung between two ‘plinths’. The plan was simple and elegant – and necessitated pre-cambered steel beams spanning in excess of 12 metres. Both owners are perfectionists and the finishes and features are equal to their request for a ‘stand apart’ design. Built-in cabinetry, a pop-out staircase, steel-rod screening, double-sided fireplace, integrated landscaping and windows that frame greenery while ensuring privacy are just some of the attributes of this ticks-all-the-boxes home. Oh yes, and most importantly, the council was happy too.
The project is an excellent example of how our in-house design and build teams came together to find an innovative solution for this urban home – a true mix of architectural flair and building pragmatism. Also, the ability to ‘think outside the box’ when it came to solving site constraints.
The modern design is all the more stunning thanks to the various project constraints, and just goes to show that sometimes problematic sites can inspire the best designs in architects, particularly when they are supported by a good build team. If you have an interesting site that needs some architectural inspiration, please feel free to discuss with us and we’ll get our design build team onto it!