This 4-bedroom house is built on a steeply sloping Wellington site for a young family. The site has drive on access, slopes downwards to the northwest and is surrounded by well established trees. The owners wished to retain as many of the existing trees as possible, nestling the house amongst them. The house therefore turns its back to the street, and opens towards the trees that provide changing views from the canopy to the undergrowth as you descend through the house. The brief was to provide a private home large enough for entertaining, and to accommodate the owner’s extended family, whilst allowing distinct spaces for the younger children to entertain themselves.
The design solution was a clever response to a typical Wellington hill site. The house was conceived as a series of suspended and cantilevered concrete slabs - terraced against the eastern bank and opening a lightly framed cedar-clad elevation to the western view as it descends three floor levels. This achieves an elegant solution for a steep site, with a grounded permanent building structure that cantilevers out from the hillside and into the trees. The street elevation is restrained, with careful detailing concealing the garage door, and presenting only a single level to the street in accordance with the neighbourhood. The upper level is comprised of entry, the main bedroom, ensuite and office. A central void with stair runs through the plan, descending from the entry adjacent to an exposed three-storey concrete block wall. This is accentuated by vertical timber screening beside the dining and kitchen spaces that supports the floor cutaway above and functions as the stair balustrade. The lower floor contains the children’s bedrooms and guest bedroom along with a children’s living area.