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Martinborough House


The brief for this project was to create a holiday home for a blended family, that was to be based around an inside pool.  The house was to have 3 bedrooms with associated living and service rooms, and was to make the most of the rural site to provide a relaxed and informal backdrop for family breaks.  


The planning of the house was oriented towards the neighbouring grapes and the Western views of the Tararua ranges.  It turns its back on the town of Martinborough and opens up towards this view.  The floor is raised so that the views are not directly into the greenery of the adjacent vines but skim across the top of them to the hills beyond.  There is a public walking path to the edge of the vines and the raising of the floor also affords privacy for the inhabitants of the house.


The house functions are wrapped around the pool, which provides an internal decking area to its perimeter and looks out to the West where eventually the internal deck will join with an external deck to extend the pool zone.  The pool is immediately adjacent to the living area, and opens through to a smaller childrens living space on the other side.

Formally the house is a strong single form - geometric and hard-lined.  The private external living area is sheltered from view from the entry, which punches through the external coloursteel walls, giving little away about the internal world that is about to be entered.  The volume inside opens up dramatically, providing a three-dimensional space that is ever changing as you move through the house.  The lower level houses all the communal rooms of the house as well as the children’s rooms, and connects to the garage structure which provides a sheltered decked courtyard for the spa pool and external shower.  A very private and enclosed exterior space, completely separate from the main outdoor area to the West of the house.


The form allows for an upper level suite for the main bedroom and associated spaces, which looks over the vines with a significantly more commanding perspective than the lower living area.  It also provides a private, quiet retreat for the adults to enjoy.

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Registered Architects

Studio 1.04, 28 Waterloo Quay 
PO Box 595, Wellington, 6140  |  04 473 9777

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