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Registered Architects

Studio 104, 28 Waterloo Quay 
PO Box 595, Wellington, 6140  |  04 473 9777

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Balaena Bay House

Wellington

     This tiny 179 square metre plot of land, recently subdivided front lot was a challenge to design a home on. The brief called for a lot of home; a 2-bed, 2-bath, 2-living, 2 car plus study contemporary home at a high specification for a high-end market. Add to that the very restrictive residential planning rule constraints to tricky height planes, building heights and site coverage coupled with the complex and steep terrain and we were in our element. The house form is a simple stepped white board and batten box, where polished concrete blocks and hardwood vertical timber screens and balustrades are offset against an equally restrained interior colour palette.

Inside the houses volume has been exaggerated by hollowing out 3D void spaces over the kitchen and through the stairwells that offer long glimpses through the interior, both up through the floors, and outside onto the decks and out to the harbour views below. Large floor to ceiling window openings accentuate the feeling of space, and highlight the views below. Thoughtful lighting transforms the exterior by night, and creates interest through the interior volumes by highlighting the views through the levels. Even where uncooperative neighbours forces the form to be moulded to comply with the height planes the exterior form creates a feature shower wall inside, with a deliberate designed feel to the house as a result. Despite the size and the constraints this townhouse has both achieved value for the developer and practicality, space, privacy and amenity for the tenant, and is a great addition to its neighbourhood.