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Sea, mountain ranges and a rural landscape – reflecting nature’s best.

When discussing their new home it was apparent that the owners of this coastal property had quite different aspirations. One wanted a very contemporary design while the other preferred a more traditional feel.

As retiring dairy farmers however, one thing uniting them from the outset was the retention of a sense of connectedness to nature. This design is the outcome.

Siting for views and shelter

With a near 270-degree vista, the house facilitates the most stunning views of the Kaikoura ranges, the sea and the surrounding countryside which the owners love.

The hilltop site is a narrow one which is buffeted by prevailing winds. Much thought was given to the outdoor area on the west side, (the most sheltered side) where an upstairs surrounding deck provides for expansive views and outlooks. There is also a secondary balcony with views to the south.

The main living areas are at first floor level to protect views from future building on adjoining sites. The main bedroom also offers a magnificent vista with spectacular outlooks from the east, north and west.

The farm and the sea

Wanting to bring something of their past with them, it was the owners idea to incorporate macrocarpa logs from the farm into the house in some way shape or form. Milled, then cut and sized by a joiner, we chose to integrate them as feature battens in the high ceilings of the large living spaces and stairwell. This element is quite transformational.

As well as adding to the look and feel of the spaces, the macrocarpa has been gapped to provide access to an acoustic blanket behind the battens. The result is quite outstanding acoustic qualities. Reverberation, often associated with large open plan spaces, has been completely eliminated, especially benefiting one of the owners who suffers a hearing impairment.

It is a real joy to see the farm macrocarpa put to such wonderful use.

In contrast to the warmth and earthiness of the timber, the stone carpet on the ground floor coupled with the turquoise and teal wallpaper and tile detail gives a welcome and dramatic nod to the coastal scene.

In terms of the exterior treatment, another consideration for this design was the owners intention to travel. Being regular travellers, it was important that the majority of the design be of low maintenance. However, for people with such a strong affinity with the land, it also needed to have sufficient garden so as to be of interest. Hardy native ferns, grasses and cacti provide the ideal solution.

As a home designed to interact with the views and compliment its surrounding environment, the end result is very pleasing.

Design features

  • The house achieves a high degree of thermal control through use of concrete floors at each level, grouted concrete block and lightweight concrete wall panels.
  • On the exterior, cedar and copper detailing contrast with white plastered walls.
  • Heating is variously by solar power, a ducted heating/cooling system, undertile heating and an auxiliary gas fire.
  • There are electrically operated blinds to control heat ingress.