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Multi-wing house reveals views slowly and features sheltered outdoor living spaces

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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

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It's not uncommon for an internal blade wall or even a turn in an entry hall to delay the reveal of a home's layout and views. This contemporary design takes that concept a giant step further with the entire house keeping you in suspense.

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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Credit List

Lighting Lighthouse Lighting
Heating DeLonghi Climaveneta Geothermal underfloor; GasFX custom gas fireplace by Gascraft
Kitchen cabinetry Dezignatek vinyl wrap, Satin White
Benchtops Kymera Warm White, brushed stainless steel
Splashback Low iron Seraphic glass with graphic coating from Viridian Glass
Sink Heritage Quadra from Mercer
Oven Pyrolitic, Bosch
Cooktop Induction, Bosch
Refrigerator/freezer Ariston
Dishwasher Compact, Bosch
Vanity American Oak Veneer
Shower fittings Pull from Euroglass; Tranquillity channel drain; Revolver waste by Allproof Industries
Shower stall Viridian
Basin Semi-recessed from Robertson Bathware
Tiles Flaviker Gemstone Black Lappato, honed, from Naturally Tiles
Toilet Back to wall toilet suite
Skylight Velux
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA)Homes – Highly Commended
Architect Dalman Architecture; design team – Richard Dalman, Erica Brouard, Brett Ridley, Ben Walshe, Owen Lamb
Builder Buildtech
Kitchen cabinetry and bathroom vanity maker Sydenham Joinery
Window/door joinery APL/Vantage windows and Monarch Aluminium doors in Metro Series
Cladding Cedarscreen weatherboard cladding with Dryden Wood Oil finish from Rosenfeld Kidson
Roof Skellerup Enviroclad membrane system from Viking Roofspec
Flooring Polished concrete with exposed aggregate
Paints Resene SpaceCote; Earthsense ceiling paint