Blake House is located less than a ten minute drive from central Nelson at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac overlooking Atawhai. The section is steeply sloped with a North West orientation. Coming from a hot climate in Australia, the clients wished to create a very well-insulated three bedroom house which maximised the views out towards the Nelson haven, boulder bank and mountain ranges beyond.
The garage – the main form visible from the street – is a simple black box with timber accents. The building then steps down the slope with the ground floor nestling into the land. Entry to the house is via a timber walkway with cedar pergola. The generous entry foyer descends into the kitchen and dining areas with the living area partially separated by a two-sided fireplace. Floor to ceiling glazing enhances the view and brings the expanse of the Nelson haven inside. The master bedroom is tucked behind the kitchen, with views out to a Japanese garden from the ensuite. A light-filled timber stairwell leads to the ground level which includes guest bedrooms and a sauna. Outdoor living is provided by a long balcony at first floor and a paved patio at ground floor, accessed off the bedrooms and sitting area.
The house has a crisp exterior colour palette of black aluminium cladding with contrasting white soffits. This monochrome scheme is continued through to the interior where a combination of dark and light joinery is used along with subtle timber notes and surprising pops of colour.
The house takes on a sculptural quality in its bold exterior form and crisp, clean aesthetic. The different level changes and careful placement of glazing creates a playful dance of light and shadow throughout the day, while a pared back interior provides a sense of calm for the inhabitants.
Atawhai Kids Preschool is located in a suburban neighborhood in Atawhai, Nelson and is an inviting and inspiring new home for an existing preschool located nearby. Our client wanted a modern, practical and functional building from which to run their busy, privately-owned centre. They had out grown their existing premises and were after a purpose built space that fit in well with its residential surroundings in terms of both scale and form.
The planning arrangement clearly separates office/staff space from the operational play areas via a warm cedar-lined entry lobby. The different use of spaces is also visually defined through the use of colour. The cedar lining inside extends to the outside continuing the rhythm of the battened surface to the south-east facade. The scale of the building is kept down from the street by low roofs over the utilitarian bathroom and sleep-room spaces. The grooved plywood of the high level cladding behind recedes back with its dark finish further reducing the visual impact to the street.
The separated interior play spaces for toddlers and infants are punctuated by a lower acoustic ceiling over a ‘quiet space’ providing a buffer for both volume and movement. Both play spaces flow through French doors out onto an expansive covered play deck and onto the grassed outdoor playground beyond.
The building provides for the many practical day to day needs of a preschool/daycare while having distinct street presence from the exterior and a playful yet highly functional interior that is visually engaging for pupils and well connected to the outside. The building offers a highly engaging space for the young people of this growing community to start their education.
Located in an established city neighbourhood, this contemporary home provides an urban retreat for its owners. A desire to live centrally, within walking distance of the city whilst maintaining privacy and an impression of seclusion was the driving force behind the design.
The long, north-facing site informed a narrow plan. Two outdoor living spaces were created. An intimate enclosed courtyard with a narrow reflection pond provides an outlook for the guest rooms and living spaces on the ground floor, while a raised lawn at the rear of the site leads to the inviting deep pool and pool house.
Upstairs, the master suite overlooks the rear lawn and pool area, providing glimpses above the adjacent rooftops. The home screens noise and provides privacy from the street. Careful placement of gardens create inviting internal landscape views, which lead guests along and blur the boundary between indoors and out.
A simple and restrained palette of materials and colours enhance the contrasting textures and strong shadow lines in the intense Nelson sun. Natural, honest materials reflect the colours in the surrounding landscape. Exposed concrete block with black mortar is used extensively to the street façade to provide a gritty urban strength, while the cedar cladding provides a soft warmth to the spaces beyond.
2019 Winner - NZIA Nelson / Marlborough Architecture Award
Brown House is an iconic Nelson historic settlers building with a rich and colourful past dating back to the 1860’s. It is located in the heart of central Nelson on a long and narrow site stretching between two busy streets. The clients wished to create a unique inner-city dwelling that could be used as short-term accommodation.
Like many older Nelson inner-city homes, the original Brown House was long, narrow and dark, with a variety of uses over its time, including retail and hospitality. The existing building was in a state of disrepair with a lot of the finishing timber damaged or removed. With hardly any original materials and features left, it required extensive renovation and modernisation.
Retaining only the front facade, the house was stripped back to the framing and reconfigured into a three bedroom dwelling that can be arranged in several ways to sleep up to six guests. The house has a strong street presence – the weatherboards aptly painted a chocolate brown colour contrasted with white window facings and shutters, with the entry being marked by a bright pink front door. A long hallway leads down to the light-filled dining, kitchen and living area. The sun-soaked verandah upstairs and generous courtyard at ground level create a little urban oasis amongst the industrial city fabric.
Brown House is a thoughtful and playful response to heritage controls, the site and program. It is a heritage gem brought back to life, adding another chapter to its vibrant history.
Featured in Wild Tomato's September issue on heritage homes: Salvaging the Past for the Future.
Photos by Kate Webster Photography
Approaching Redbox as long term friends, the owners came to us with an inherent understanding of how we work and what they wanted to achieve. They had purchased an existing property on the exposed north edge of the Monaco peninsula, with amazing private views over the bay.
After first designing for extensive alterations of the existing house, the owners decided to look at the site as a blank slate. The new house is cranked across the site to optimize views and create private entertainment areas oriented for the afternoon sun. Multiple terraces around the house create protected outdoor zones regardless of the wind direction. The main terraces stagger down into the landscape, allowing party guests to transition towards the fire pit as the sun sets in the distance.
Designed to adapt to the owners requirements during the life of the home, the home is equipped with a platform lift from the garage level, and ensuite access direct from all the bedrooms. The lower level studio can also be used to provide future passive income, while the extruded aluminium cladding was selected for its ease of maintenance and long term durability.
This project has become a new home base for the owners as they tour the country in their campervan, allowing for a sense of remaining continually on holiday while maintaining the pleasurable touches of a home.
The Holliday House is located on a thirteen acre section set amongst the rural landscape of the Moutere Valley. The site has a north-south orientation and is gently sloping, with a large pond in the centre of the section. The property has expansive views out to rolling hills, farmland and the mountain ranges beyond.
The clients required a house that would suit just the two of them, as well as accommodate their adult children and extended family. A driveway along the southern boundary leads people up to the house, with the entry being marked by a bright red door.
The house is separated into three main wings with a separate garage / workshop. The living wing opens up onto a generous north-facing courtyard with views over the pond to the orchards beyond. This orientation creates a sun-trap for summer living and allows for passive solar gain during winter. The guest wing can be accessed separately if required, and closed off from the main house. The master wing is a quiet sanctuary with an ensuite overlooking the pool area.
The gabled roof forms are reminiscent of the barn-like buildings dotted around the Moutere landscape, however with a modern take using dark-stained vertical cedar cladding. Internally, the material palette comprises polished concrete floors, a pitched cedar-batten ceiling, macrocarpa trusses and a fireplace crafted from local Lee Valley stone. Cedar shelving houses books and objects, and there are designated spaces for art, music and entertaining.
Spaces are separate but open, allowing views through to other areas. The house sits slightly elevated above the pond and extensive landscaping allows it to settle into the land and its surroundings. It is a house which compliments the owner's lifestyle and one they can enjoy now and into the future.
Photos by Oliver Weber Photography
Pearson Bach is located in the alpine village of St Arnaud. Being the gateway to the Nelson Lakes area, it is a place of compelling natural beauty comprising mountains, lakes and beech forest. The site is elevated and steep, with a north-south orientation. To the south are expansive views over Lake Rotoiti and the mountains, and to the north, kanuka and manuka trees.
The steep cut at the front of the site presented a challenge for establishing access up to the bach. The boatshed is located at the base of the site with landscaped steps, boulders and tussock forming the ascent to the house. The design comprises a central sun court nestled between a bedroom wing at the rear and a living/master bedroom wing at the front. The two wings are connected by a gallery space, with a view into the courtyard and rugged landscape beyond. These separate wings with their mono-pitched roof forms echo the gradient of the site.
A striking orthogonal front elevation of pre-weathered steel provides a visual contrast to the dark stained board and batten cladding used elsewhere. Inside, the material palette is light and warm – natural cedar, cork flooring and natural timber veneer joinery. A feature raked cedar ceiling in the snug and master bedroom creates a sense of intimacy and frames the view, while a high-level cedar volume over the kitchen directs the gaze upwards.
Pearson Bach is a thoughtful response to the climate, site and clients. The layering of textures, spaces and views has resulted in a successful outcome that the clients enjoy in all seasons. The bach has a sculptural quality and a strong architectural presence which references the sloping mountains and distinct landscape of St Arnaud. It was a National Winner in the Master Builder House of the Year Awards.
Havenview House is located on an elevated north-facing site overlooking the Nelson Haven and Port area. A level building platform was created within the sloped contours of the site and the house sits prominently on the hillside, taking advantage of the views and sun.
The house is comprised of a series of textured boxes clad in zinc, cedar and stone. A central double-height entry space provides a voluminous approach into the house. The open plan living, kitchen and dining is the main hub of the home and overlooks the decks, pool and view beyond. Sliding doors allow the spaces to be opened up or closed off as required. A private master bedroom on the ground floor is tucked away behind the living areas, while the kids and guest bedrooms are on the first floor with a hallway that doubles as play space.
A series of platforms for outdoor living are provided with separate deck and lawn areas, and the lower pool area which is set down from the house. Landscaping and hedging delineate the house from the pool and provide privacy from the neighbouring houses below. A wide overhanging eave outside the dining area allows the deck to be utilised in sun or rain.
The contemporary form of Havenview House has a commanding street presence in which the materials contrast and complement each other simultaneously. It is a house which encompasses the surrounding landscape and beauty of the Nelson area, and is a joy to inhabit.
Photos by Oliver Weber Photography
Located beside the Waimea Estuary, this compact house is the new land base for a couple that have been sailing round the Pacific for many years. It is located on a 2 hectare landscaped site that they have developed over the past three years.
Visitors enter the house by way of a sheltered private courtyard. A full height red door punches through the dark stained cladding in the centre of the house. From here one is lead through to the open plan living areas that flow seamlessly out to the terraces adjacent. The planning layout has allowed for the creation of three sunny and sheltered outdoor living areas, each with their unique identity through finishes and planting. The kitchen is the ‘bridge’ commanding magnificent views to the estuary beyond.
A ‘snug’ living space with a cantilevered bay window provides an intimate sitting area. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms are located at the private eastern end of the house. High ceiling spaces in the living areas add volume and contrast with those in the private areas. Strong colours have been used to strengthen the design and make each space unique. The house is a backdrop for the owners’ collection of art and treasures from their travels.
A limited palette of materials including bandsawn cedar, stained plywood & battens and stacked blockwork contrast with the green garden setting. Generous roof overhangs and cedar sun louvres provide effective solar control.
The house was built to a very tight budget but thoughtful consideration and planning has resulted in many unique features. The finished result is a very comfortable, well detailed home that suits its owner’s lifestyle and fits well into its natural environment.
This project consisted of the interior refit to the existing Art Block at Motueka High School. The existing building, constructed circa 1960 and altered in the late 1980’s, was made up of a rabbit-warren of rooms and corridors that were dark and cluttered.
The brief was to provide a modern, light-filled and well-connected environment in which staff and students would enjoy teaching and learning in. The existing internal corridor was converted into useable teaching space to reduce the amount of unnecessary circulation, and the main entry was relocated to the northern side of the building to create a link with the outdoor area and provide a break out area in summer.
Drawing on the idea of a collective studio space, the proposed design involved opening up the separate areas to encourage a collaborative working environment. The interior of the block was stripped back to a shell and a central plywood pod was inserted into the space between two classrooms, which are linked by a shared access way. This plywood pod contains the communal areas that are used by both classes – a sink pod, darkroom, photography room, office pod and walkway leading to the computer lab and breakout space.
Existing items were salvaged and re-incorporated where possible, while new finishes and colours were chosen to highlight and delineate different areas. The main classrooms look through to the breakout spaces with bold colours to define and personalise their use. The finishes of the main classroom spaces are reflective of a gallery-like, industrial palette – white, grey, black and timber – a muted backdrop to the colourful art on display.
The Art Block has been transformed into a light and uplifting space which fosters creativity and is enjoyed by both the staff and students.
The Pitt & Moore Lawyers Office project is part of a larger rebuild on this centrally located site in Richmond owned by Network Tasman. Pitt and Moore Lawyers were existing tenants in a nearby 2-storey building that had been seismically assessed and found to be well below current design standards. The decision was made to relocate the Pitt and Moore offices into this existing 174 square metre building (105sm down and 69sm up) and that it would be strengthened and refitted to current codes.
The building was originally built in 1958 as a store for the Waimea Electric Power Board. The construction consisted of ground floor reinforced concrete slab; timber mezzanine floor supported on an exposed steel frame; insitu concrete walls and columns; steel roof trusses supporting timber purlins and sarking. The initial seismic assessment made by the Structural Engineer gave the building a rating of 17% NBS. The prospective tenant Pitt & Moore was moving from a building with a 16% NBS rating and wanted 100% NBS.
The tenancy is part of a larger building so the building upgrade and strengthening had to take into account the whole building. There was a desire by both the client and Architect to create an industrial feel to reference the history of the building, so eccentric braced frames were proposed in both directions. As the tenancy is relatively narrow it was decided to use insitu concrete shear walls in the transverse direction. The upgraded structure achieves 100% NBS and the exposed frames provide the desired industrial feel.
The new office fitout design respects the raw nature of the building, using a limited palette of materials and colours. New structural frames have purposely been left exposed. New insulation and corrugated metal roofing were added on top of the existing sarked roof structure, which has now been revealed and stained to become a feature of the interior space.
A new zinc clad verandah has been added to provide shelter to the frameless glass entry doors. The reception lobby remains a spacious double height void, with polished concrete floor and new grand steel stair accessing offices located on the upper level. Meeting rooms, staff facilities and support rooms are located downstairs.
By incorporating and exposing the new seismic structure, the overall finished result is a safe character-filled office environment. It is one that the tenant enjoys working in and the client is proud of.
Located beside the Waimea Estuary, this house has been designed to create a warm contemporary family home. The house is set out on an east - west axis to maximise northern sunlight penetration, which is controlled with louvres and overhangs.
The planning has allowed for the creation of three outdoor areas, each with their own unique identity through finishes and planting. These are sunny and sheltered from the predominate winds.
The garage is linked to the house with a feature pergola and together with an underlit decorative pool, accentuates the entrance. A full height red door punches through the cedar cladding into the main living area, which is open plan and flows seamlessly out to the terraces adjacent. A smaller 'snug' living space provides an intimate sitting area. Located upstairs is the master bedroom that opens to its own balcony with expansive westerly views of the estuary.
Built in natural materials including vertical cedar, local stone, Lawson's Cypress, and copper details, it will weather and age gracefully. Sustainable features such as solar hot water, thick insulation, polished concrete floors which store the sun's warmth and LED lighting have been used extensively.
The combination of materials, lighting and landscaping is successful in providing the perfect setting to enhance the owners' lifestyle and a wonderful backdrop for entertaining family and friends.
This extension to the Tasman District Council main office building in Richmond was designed to accommodate staff who were previously located in other buildings nearby. The approximately 1000 sqm two level addition relocates the main public service centre, meeting rooms and customer support offices to the ground floor Queen Street frontage. Open plan offices are located at first floor to accommodate TDC Engineering services. The new planning has freed up space elsewhere in the complex to accommodate other staff and has lead to better staff communication and efficiencies.
The new addition provides a visual connection with the street and definition of the street edge. Landscaping elements provide separation between the street spaces and those inside the building.
A new timber canopy cantilevered over the footpath highlights the new entrance to the double height public foyer. Two feature columns are detailed to represent stylised Nikau palms, which are accentuated by feature lighting at night. A secondary public entrance from the east car park end is defined by an existing magnolia tree that has been carefully protected during construction.
The new light filled public service centre is a warm and inviting space. Natural light and ventilation is drawn into the upper floor offices through a raised section of roof creating a light filled spacious interior.
The bulk, form and siting of the building have been well managed to contribute to the building complex and spaces around it. A dark grey zinc seamed cladding is appropriately civic and contemporary. Silver anodised vertical louvres provide contrast and shadowing while controlling solar heat gain. The composition is coherently resolved and includes an attractive degree of richness and articulation. It successfully links in with other buildings in the complex both in its alignments and its aesthetics.
We were asked to design alterations and additions to an existing 1980's beachfront holiday house located at Tata Beach in Golden Bay. The owners had holidayed here for many years and particularly loved the location. The floor plan was altered and extended to give improved flow between internal spaces and to the outside courtyards, with a new paved outdoor courtyard located adjacent to the dining wing suitable for BBQs. Large windows and doors open up the sea view, while privacy is maintained from the house and courtyard to the street side through cedar screens and careful arrangement of the entry elevations.
Vertical shiplap cedar and aluminium tray cladding was selected as they are low maintenance and natural looking to suit the context of the beach setting. Macrocarpa trusses and plywood ceilings are a feature of the kitchen and dining space, combining with the cedar linings to enhance the relaxed bach atmosphere.
The end result is a light and airy informal bach that fits into the context of the beach front setting providing its owners with a casual yet comfortable base for family holidays.
Nicknamed the ‘p-lab’ and ‘urination station’, the centralising of ‘business’ at Waimea Intermediate School has created increased classroom spaces by removing small toilet facilities spread throughout the existing school buildings.
With student safety paramount in the school’s thinking, this design pushed the definition of ‘privacy’ in order to give increased supervision of the internal space. Banks for boys and girls toilets flank common washbasin lobbies with full height glass end walls.
The design reinforces materials and colours incorporated in other areas of the school. A philosophy of stewardship and student ownership allowed choices of materials and fittings that encouraged students to care for the facility. Materials are low maintenance and robust with exposed blockwork, porcelain fixtures and plywood linings.
Fun and colourful, this facility provides some dynamic play with random exposed purlins, zigzag lighting and a floating wrapped roof shell.
The facility has reduced maintenance costs, with the use of low water use fittings, efficient low cost lighting, natural ventilation and lighting, and future greywater reuse allowances have minimised other ongoing service costs.
The original house, while not heritage protected sits on a prominent corner amongst other aged character dwellings near the School of Music and close to the city centre. Originally in the 1920s, the current house was poorly planned and in urgent need of repair. The retired owners desired a warm and comfortable home suitable for modern-day living and within walking distance of the city. They wished to maintain the historic character of the original house to respect and fit in with its neighbours.
We relocated the garage to Shelbourne Street, freeing up the north facing Nile Street frontage for an extension to the dining and kitchen. These flow out to outdoor decks and garden areas adjacent. There is also a formal living room and a separate guest bedroom and bathroom. The master bedroom, ensuite bathroom and private living space are located on the upper level. These have glimpses to the surrounding hills above the adjacent rooftops.
Proportions were carefully considered and a simple and restrained palette of materials and colours were used to give reference to the original house. Privacy has been maintained with careful placement of landscaping and changes in level. The renovation allowed for the construction to be upgraded to current building codes, a lift to be installed and for piped under-floor heating.
The Nelson City Council Planners were very supportive of the adaptive reuse of the house. The design succeeds in providing a very comfortable home built to a modern standard that sits in well into this historic neighbourhood.
In early 2011 Redbox Architects won a competition for the development of the Network Tasman site that runs between 281 Queen Street and 66 Oxford Street, Richmond. Several of the existing buildings on the site were deemed to be below the new building standard for earthquake testing. An initial master plan was prepared which included strengthening and refurbishment of some buildings and demolition of the existing two-storey building to Queen Street.
The final stage of the redevelopment was to replace it with a new 950 square meter building that incorporates a unique LVL structural timber frame and K braces, and an XLam cross laminated timber flooring system. This was selected to showcase locally manufactured timber building products that was fast to erect and created a flexible, positive internal environment.
The fitout provides new offices and treatment rooms for various community health providers, including Nelson Marlborough Health. The Community Health Hub is designed to link internally with the other adjacent buildings on the site, and integrate smoothly into the existing urban context of the Richmond CBD.
Internally, the timber structure has been exposed to give a unique work environment with a warm natural feel. A healthy work environment is maintained by maximising cross-ventilation and natural lighting to all work stations, while patient privacy is created with enhanced acoustic treatments.
The staff enjoy working there so much that they have nick-named it ‘The Hilton.’