Wainui Estate

Architecturally Designed Luxury Home

We loved working on this project for clients who are building a new family home for three generations to enjoy. Located on the outskirts of Auckland with a stunning outlook onto a nearby golf course, the house is designed with privacy in mind while also maximising the view and sunlight into the house. We started by creating a private outdoor courtyard with a pool and opening the house out onto it to achieve the sense of openness within their own private space. Using the simple gable form, we created separate public living areas along with private sleeping and utility areas, with a central spine in the middle connecting it all. A long corridor running the length of the house acts as the buffer zone between the two gable forms, with a full-height window at the end framing a view of the golf course.

The Brief

Located on the outskirts of Auckland with a stunning outlook onto nearby Wainui golf course, this lovely home was designed to satisfy a few specific requests. Our clients are semi-retired and wanted to be close to the golf course, while building a new family home large enough for three generations to enjoy.

We love it when a client has clear ideas of what they need, and then gives us creative freedom to execute the best way to satisfy their requirements. In this instance, our clients wanted to create a home that was going to be large enough for their daughters and grandchildren to enjoy when they visit. But they also wanted a home that would have a cosy feel when just the two of them were home.

Because they have grandchildren, they wanted to incorporate a swimming pool, deck and outdoor living area. However, they wanted privacy from the road and protection from the southwest wind.

The final briefing request from our clients was to somehow include a simple gable form that they liked, but didn’t know how to make work.

The Design

With a specific request to incorporate simple, clean lines of a gable form, we started with that design in mind. The house consists of two parallel gables that we began referring to over the course of our work together as the public and the private gable.

The private gable contains the bedrooms, bathrooms and utility areas of the house. It runs down the back of the house, extended on from the garage, with a solid brick clad exterior.

The public gable is slightly larger, housing the living areas, dining room and the kitchen, opening out onto the deck and pool on the northern side of the house. It is made of a lightweight construction, timber cladding, and is opened with a raked ceiling that follows the form of the gable and gives the space a large, open feel. This carries out to the soffit, an overhang over the outdoor living area. You can sit outside comfortably while children are in the pool, keeping an eye on them and enjoying the view, while also not feeling too far removed from anything happening inside.

The two gables run parallel to each other, meeting in the middle with a central spine that connects them. A long corridor running the length of the house acts as the buffer zone between the private and public living zones, with a full-height window at the end framing a stunning view of the golf course. As you enter this home, you are greeted with this exceptional aspect along the hallway, down to the kitchen, through the living room and out towards the golf course and greenery beyond. Straight away you are drawn into the home and invited to come closer to take a look at the view.

Moving to the outside of the home, our challenge lay in how to create privacy from the road and protection from the wind, without putting up an unsightly wall. We created a semi private courtyard by cutting out a section of the public gable, so the outdoor living area is surrounded by the TV room and the dining room from which you can enjoy the north-facing view. As a result, the indoor and outdoor areas are visually connected. To keep the swimming pool from being seen from the road, we used a solid fence covered by a large hedge. As you approach the house you don’t realise that there is a pool out back – all you see is this gorgeous, green feature wall.

The Result

What is now known as Wainui Estate is a beautiful family home that is often referred to by our clients as spacious, yet cosy. With careful choices of materials and deliberate separation of zones within the home, we are pleased we managed to satisfy all of the requests of the initial brief. The home is large enough for extended family to stay and enjoy, while also being comfortable enough for just two people to enjoy day-to-day, watching television or enjoying the view. From the road, the design doesn’t give much away. But as soon as you enter through the large door you realise you’ve stepped in to a unique, practical and beautifully designed home with a view.

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