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European-style coastal home with split levels and self-contained apartment

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Contemporary home by architect Stephan Meijer with large terrace, pool, gym, office, and master suite on main living floor

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Homes with the most dramatic outlooks often seem to be nestled on the most awkward sites. In such cases, the positioning on the property can dictate the form and flow of the house itself.

For this new home project, the owners asked architect Stephan Meijer for a contemporary, European-style design with great views from every room, a pitched roof and a self-contained apartment below. There also needed to be a double garage with internal access, and a pool.

To fulfil the client's brief, the house is long and linear, composed with strong forms that fold over in an attractive facade composition. The generous use of concrete and glass is off-set by the warmth of Canadian cedar on some walls and Colorsteel roofing in the same wood tone.

Faced with a steep site, the positioning and layout of the house was crucial, says Meijer.

"As a result, we designed the home over split levels – with the garage and formal entry on the top floor. From here, you step down to the main living spaces with the master suite also at this level. The pool is set halfway between this main floor and the basement level, which has a bedroom, home office, gym, wine cellar, ancillary spaces and the self-contained apartment."

The interiors are as generous and simple as the eye-catching exterior. On the main floor, the open-plan living spaces are white with the blue of the sea almost a component of the decor. The marble-look large format tiles are also in keeping with the European sensibility required.

Coastal conditions are notoriously variable but the sustainable-energy house is well set up for warmth and cold. The main level is built on a concrete slab, which absorbs the sun's rays during the day through the generous glazing and releases the heat back into the interior come evening. Deep overhangs and sun shades both help mitigate heat gain during the summer.

"In addition, the design is slightly unusual for New Zealand in that it has external rather than internal insulation," says Meijer. "With this building method, the concrete walls are exposed directly to the interior, with no cavity space to hide pipes and wires. This meant that service channels had to be configured into the concrete tilt slabs before the house even went up."

With its clean-lined composition of simple, strong materials, sprawling terrace and articulated forms, this house opens up to the coastal panorama on all levels and from all rooms.


First published date: 11 March 2016

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Credit List

Architect Stephan Meijer,Stephan Meijer Architecture
Builder Mike Callister
Kitchen design and manufacture Peter Hay Kitchens
Pool designer Stephan Meijer Architecture and Mayfair Pools
Cladding Canadian Cedar, STO plaster system
Roof Corrugated Colorsteel
Window and door joinery APL
Floor Tiled
Wallcoverings Gib
Paint Dulux
Heating Real Fires, Mitsubishi
Awards TIDA Homes, highly commended