Story by Colleen Hawkes
Photography by Jamie Cobeldick
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To maximise a picturesque view, the living area of this house was suspended like a bridge between two box-like brick volumes
Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say – and this applies to architecture as much as any other endeavour.
The designer and co-owner of this house, Guy Shallard of Lat Forty Five, says necessity was precisely the reason he chose to elevate the living area and suspend it like a bridge above the ground.
"The long, narrow site is surrounded by other properties," Shallard says. "And although the site is parallel to the lake, the living areas needed to be elevated to maximise the views and provide privacy."
The decision to suspend the living area within a bold bridge element was also influenced by Shallard's background in engineering.
"In terms of the building structure, I like to push things a little," he says. "The bridge is heavily engineered – it could literally take the weight of a train. But the huge steel trusses provide the character, both inside and out."
The bridge is supported by cube-like volumes clad in charcoal concrete block with rusted Corten steel window boxes.
"The heavy window surrounds bring a sense of depth to the two structures, which are essentially very simple," says Shallard. "The protruding steel also helps protect the house from the harsh sun."
The kwila-clad terrace beneath the bridge is completely open on two sides, and was developed as an alfresco living area, with barbecue and extractor.
"We didn't want to enclose this space as it would have made the house far too large and it would have detracted from the drama of the bridge."
Individual steel stairs bolted into the block wall lead up to the living area, which is one large open-plan space. A white shelving unit, which incorporates a cantilevered stainless steel fireplace plinth and a TV cabinet, serves as a room divider.
"At 2.4m, the ceiling height in this room is not especially high, but the proportions work with the length of the bridge, particularly when it is viewed from below," says the designer.
A galley-style kitchen is housed in one of the concrete block volumes. Stainless steel benchtops are paired with grey-toned Bestwood Melamine cabinets. These are positioned so the owners can enjoy the view while preparing meals. Other rooms in this part of the house include a second stairwell, bedroom and family bathroom, with a guest suite on the lower level.
The opposite volume accommodates the stairs and master suite. To provide visual continuity, the master bathroom is lined with 600 x 300mm charcoal tiles that replicate the look of the exterior blocks. A study is located on the ground floor.
First published date: 17 March 2011
More news from Trends
|Designer||Guy Shallard, Lat Forty Five (Queenstown)|
|Builder||Lat Forty Five|
|Kitchen manufacturer||Formatt Kitchens|
|Cladding||Charcoal block from NJ Blocklaying; steel by Site Steel|
|Roofing||TPO membrane from Straightline Roofing|
|Paints and varnishes||Dulux from Pringle Decorating|
|Gas boiler||Firebird from Pride in Plumbing|
|Doors and windows||Aluminium Systems; Ellison's Aluminium|
|Door and window hardware||Knobs ‘n Knockers|
|Furniture||Belle; Lat Forty Five|
|Audiovisual equipment||Bose from Gary Anderson|
|Kitchen cabinetry||Bestwood Melamine|
|Tapware||Methven from Edward Gibbon Ltd|
|Oven, cooktop and dishwasher||Fisher & Paykel|
|Bathroom vanity||Primo from Edward Gibbon Ltd|
|Shower enclosure, tapware and fittings||Kiri from Edward Gibbon Ltd|
|Bathtub and basin||Edward Gibbon Ltd|