The small site on a steep piece of Wellington’s inner suburbs consisted of a tiny 141 square metre plot between a 20+ metre vertical drop between two roads. the challenging brief was to include 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, study and open plan living with 2 living areas, and create a spacious generous feel. District plan requirements only allowed a 60 sq metre footprint, meaning that the proposed house needed to be on 3 levels to achieve the brief. The house is designed around a simple rendered-plaster box laid horizontally and cut into the contour, intersected by a vertical weatherboard clad atrium form that connects the floors with circulation.
To the exterior, light and dark colours define this intersection, which functionally connects the interior through a central void that includes the stairwell. The architecture is then characterised by a mix of tall deep windows or horizontal view-framing slots, and interconnecting spaces that visually open up the central living space to appear spacious and thieves interest and richness. After the entrance to the top level, the plan proceeds through a central atrium connecting the lower floors. A floating timber stair descends to the middle living level, then a second flight to a generous lower floor hallway servicing the bathrooms, laundry and 3 bedrooms. Careful planning achieves flexibility by the use of sliding partitions, and wide hallways often giving users more than one use for each space.