The design of this house has been a long journey. First faced with major limitations on the site and how we could make a family home work was our first hurdle, and then dealing with the limitations of Auckland Council to allow us to use innovative design and build methods was the next. We got there in the end, with Fraser designing a beautiful form for us to follow.
The Design process
With all the waiting around for council consents and also the limitations imposed by neighbours and our environment, we went through many design stages in this time. However, we’re going to take that as a win, as the more time we spent understanding the land and the opportunities for view and outlook, the better the final design became. What we decided on is so different to the initial concepts that we first had for this house, but we couldn’t be happier.
Have a read through our House Design Blog Posts to understand our process.
THE DESIGN TEAM & STAGES
Fraser Horton completed all aesthetics, visuals and overall concepts of the design in consultation with Alex and Corban
Corban then worked with Fraser to get the overall house footprint, form and finish perfected. Then leading Corban on to project manage, research and source all building methods and materials that would enable us to build this home to be sustainable and durable as the two priorities.
Murray Walls (Corban’s Dad) was our Draftsman, and worked tirelessly to get every millimetre perfectly accounted for to finalise the constructions details and consent drawings. This took what seemed like a million phone calls and emails as the detail around this design was very complicated
Once that was finalised, we submitted to council and then waited/battled them for three years over details, engineering and building methods.
THE DESIGN OBJECTIVE
There is a luxury that comes with choosing to build your own home, and that is you get to choose the brief around how you personally want to use it. For us, these were the key points that needed to be considered in the design.
- A house designed around entertaining both indoors and outdoors
- Being able to operate the house off the grid
- Great storage for the family, everything has a home
- Kitchen as the hub of the home
- A place to relax
- A place to retreat
- Privacy from the main road
- Capitalising on the 180 degree views
According to the Architect Fraser Horton, this site was probably the most restricted he has ever worked on and designed for, so our objective and challenge has not been straight forward and took a great deal of time to come to our final plans.
the evolution of the design
by Fraser Horton
This design, as with any, went through an evolution process. Working with the client, the site, the brief and the budget, you test and refine and test and refine.
The key thing with this particular site was knowing exactly what the restrictions were so we could maximise the outcome.
The initial concepts were an exploration into the possibilties of the site. I tested out ideas of form and layout and together with Alex and Corban we reviewed the pro’s and con’s of the site. Eventually we arrived at a concept that we felt had a lot of important elements confirmed. This had an additional wing for a separate master bedroom, and slightly-too-complicated geometry. We decided to try and pair this back to save money, but also, an important consideration was having a decent amount of usable outdoor space. So we decided to lose the additional master wing and make the main space more efficient in its planning.
I then developed this concept to test material options and refine the planning layout. During this stage we moved the kitchen and living spaces around, tried different stair arrangements, and started to refine exterior details. We also engaged an engineer at this point to start to develop the structural design of the house.
At the end of this, all of the key parts of the design are decided and drawn, and we could then apply for a resource consent.
Once the resource consent was granted, we could then move to the detailed design stage where the construction drawings are documented.