House Of The Week
When Colin Walker presented architect Delisa Lovie with an old cottage on a steep site, requesting to design a new home maximising the sun and views, the project was virtually a contradiction in terms.
"In Wellington, views and sun are often in conflict," says Lovie.
"With this south facing site the challenge was to harness the northern sun."
The result is a house set off the hillside creating a north facing internal courtyard which acts as both a light well for the upper levels, and an outdoor living space.
Bi-folding doors seamlessly connect the entire ground floor with the sunny, wind protected outdoor space.
"The stairs to the upper level have open risers and glass balustrades to minimise any impact on views when looking out from the courtyard through the house to the harbour. "
The three level house follows the contours of the site with the entry foyer, guest bedrooms and bathroom on the lower level, the living, dining and kitchen areas on the middle level and master bedroom, with walk in wardrobe and ensuite, on the upper level.
"The client can see the harbour entrance from the bed or bath. A mezzanine office on the upper level also serves as another viewing platform, like the bridge of a ship."
And as requested, the cladding is shiplap weatherboard, reminiscent of the style of home Walker grew up in at the beginning of the road.
Lovie has made much use of concrete including a concrete base on the lower level and a concrete slab beneath the kitchen dining area.
While at this stage there is no open fire, a concrete block chimney and polished concrete hearth has been incorporated into the build to allow a fire to be easily added later.
Louver windows in the master bedroom create airflow and can be securely left open all year.
The 'see through' aspect to the design, ensuring the views are enjoyed from the inner courtyard, make the entire build spacious and airy.
This, along with the wind-free outdoor space for entertaining, have resulted in a happy customer.
Walker says the home responds well to his brief on one of Wellington's more tricky but beautiful sites.
Build Cost: under $800,000
Architect: Delisa Lovie, Delisa Lovie Architecture
Builder: A Plus Builders Ltd
Joiner: James Cook Joinery
Garden Designer: Chris Close
Size: 170 sq.m
Materials: concrete, steel, concrete block, cladding shiplap weatherboard (Resene Raptor), aluminium joinery, colour steel roof (ironsand), Victorian ash flooring and carpet
Energy Efficiency: Argon filled double glazing, radiators gas heated.
Done Right: Stunning city views, especially at night, and the toasty warmth.
Done Wrong: No way to access the top atrium windows for cleaning.
Unexpected: Gas bill in the middle of winter.
Next time: There won't be one, not because anything notable went wrong but it was just too time consuming and generally stressful. However, a thermal break in the window frames and triple glazing on the south side would have been a good idea.
- © Fairfax NZ News