Webber Street House
Location: Westmere | Auckland | NZ
GABLE IN THE CANOPY
This is a small house designed on land at the rear of an existing established house and section. The land has an existing pool to the North, and established native trees and an extensive vista over a public reserve and estuary to the East.
The owner, with his children now grown up, wishes to downsize to a new, smaller, lower maintenance house.
The available site was constricted, with both the existing house and the neighbour's house to the South, overlooking the new house. Thus the elevations facing these two directions were fairly blank, and the house opens to the North and East.
The gable end of the House facing the reserve will be almost within the existing Kanuka and Karaka canopy with long views of the estuary seen through the foliage.
The large, dark tiled living/dining floor slab is open to the North and absorbs winter sun while the eaves and canopy overhangs exclude the midsummer sun. This, together with its compact form and high levels of insulation, means that it is a very energy efficient house. The 2.5 kw of photovoltaic panels on the North facing roof means that the house will generate much of its own power.
The client wished to give the design a contemporary tropical feel. We designed the landscaping around the entry to take advantage of this and to recreate in miniature the views over the estuary, seen when you enter the living space or master bedroom. The dark-stained timber flooring and decking and the exterior stained battens and movable louvers and the planting also reinforce modern Eastern style.