Tailored to suit...
After having lived in diverse countries around the world; the owners of this property developed a strong and unique visual diary depicting the elements and spatial qualities that appealed to them for building this house for retiring in New Zealand.
A challenging hill site with striking views on the east side and a retaining wall that gradually increases in height bordering the west side, this retaining wall acted as a gradual block for the afternoon sun had it's longer axis facing the morning sun while the afternoon sun. The long axis of the site is parallel to the North-South axis and therefore; maximizing the morning sun-gain while also achieving this in the west side (mostly blocked by the retaining wall) became a must to ensure the best sun-gain at all times.
The house maximizes the use of thermal mass by being built in structural concrete for all slabs, walls and a concrete roof of variable pitch. The exterior insulation guarantees that all heat stored by the thermal mass is released to the inside during night time. The house currently achieves constant 19 deg. C without any heating system being activated during a cloudy cold day (e.g. between 8 to 10 deg. C) in the outside.
All spaces were designed considering the relevant furniture and/or other elements that the owners had previously purchased during their life around the world. The spaces' qualities are achieved at its core by a composition between a strong curved wall intersecting with the variable-pitched roof, generating the diverse alternation of spaces that flow in an organic way.
The house generates a micro-climate between itself and the retaining wall above mentioned; the main objective was to achieve the creation of a patio that could be actually used as such (as this region is famous for literally having the 4 seasons in one day) and addressing the striking views of the north side from any point.