Multi-wing house reveals views slowly and features sheltered outdoor living spaces
Story by Charles Moxham
Photography by Stephen Goodenough
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Cedar-clad home with three wings offers different outlooks from different spaces – bifold metal doors enclose a private courtyard in the living wing
Designed by architects Richard Dalman and Erica Brouard the five-bedroom family home sits on top of a rolling hill. This rather exposed site offers expansive views toward the Southern Alps, Lake Ellesmere and surrounding farmland.
"The residence is configured to reveal itself on approach – disguising the overall size from first view," says Dalman. "It has been assembled as three main structures – each one containing different functions."
These forms are positioned one behind the other, surrounding the head of the hill. Each element or wing is revealed in turn as you approach up the long driveway. All three wings are linked by a central gallery space which hides the views beyond. These are not seen until family or guests enter through the flush front door.
"Intimate connections to the outlooks are a driving principal behind this house design. The brief was to create a residence where different aspects of the landscape could be enjoyed from different rooms.
"Picture windows, full-height glazing and the extended wings all help to frame views in different directions. Each space has a different feel, depending on its orientation, the amount of natural light, and the time of day."
For example, the window in the living room affords a sweeping view across the Canterbury Plains, and has been sited so that best viewing is from a seated position.
The extended wings create a number of outdoor spaces for the family to choose from depending on the direction of the wind and sun. As part of the end wing that extends out on both sides of the central gallery, a walled courtyard separates the main home from the guest quarters.
This courtyard space comes with a dynamic feature. Large concrete ‘picture frame' wall structures are rooted into the ground on both sides of the courtyard. Both or either sides can be enclosed with operable walls that easily unfold into place – meaning the open air space can be used regardless of the sun and wind direction.
The metal walls that shelter the courtyard also animate the look of the home.
"We specified a simple material palette to connect the home to the surrounding landscape," says Erica Brouard. "The farmland here changes seasonally – bright ochre in summer, deep green in winter."
Their choice of cedar cladding, exposed concrete block, polished concrete floors and a hint of steel has resulted in a look that is pleasing to the senses but at the same time is highly practical and livable.
"A great deal of thought went into the detailing for the home's cedar cladding," says Brouard. "All the jointing is flush finished – emphasising the simple forms."
Indoors, wall-size sliders in the living and bedroom wings open up the interior spaces to the all-surrounding scenery.
Energy-efficient modern technologies, such as geothermal heating and energy-saving LED lighting are another feature of the rural home.
First published date: 24 May 2017
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