West Harbour Views

Spectacular views of the city and the harbour from this West Auckland rebuild.

For this West Auckland home, we were asked to create that new home look and feel from an existing older house. We refer to it as a rebuild – we weren’t building a brand new house, but we were doing more than simply renovating an existing one. There were some aspects of the home that our clients knew needed changing and rearranging, and other parts that they wanted to keep.

The Brief

One of the things that our clients loved about their existing property was the stunning view over the water and back to the city. They wanted an outdoor living space where they could sit outside, but be protected from the winds the property was often exposed to. A key part of the brief was to make the most of the view and the sun, while meeting the clients’ functional needs around how they use their space.

It was often just the two of them in the house, but they love entertaining and wanted enough space for their adult kids and grandchildren to visit or stay over.

The previous layout of the home was no longer suitable for them, but the house was structurally sound. We came in with fresh eyes and reconfigured the layout of the two-level home and modernised it.

Queenstown Property Development
Residential Architecture
Queenstown Residential Architecture
Titirangi New Build
Outdoor Living

The Design

We wanted to create a large, open-plan living area that looked out over the water where the family could enjoy each other’s company and the sea views. With this type of design, it’s important that we also maintain some privacy and include spaces where people can go for a bit of quiet time – always essential in a large, family home.

We achieved this balance by incorporating what we refer to as public and private zones. The public zone is where we have the kitchen / living / dining areas, and the private areas include the bedrooms, nooks, bathrooms. Both zones have high ceilings and high-level windows, and a recessed entryway sits between the two sections of the house.

It is from the upper level where you can enjoy the views to the north and the east, so it was here that we found the natural spot for the outdoor living area and the open plan entertaining areas. The house now has a large open-plan kitchen and dining area, and just outside, a covered deck runs along the entire length of the house. The deck area has a timber “ceiling” that sits about three quarters of the way up the eastern side of the house, with windows extending above this. It lets us create a protected outdoor space without blocking light into the house.

The result is that we have high walls and ceiling height created by the two mono pitch roofs, a long covered outdoor area, and high level windows that allow plenty of light in that bounces off the ceiling and brightens up the house.

Also on the upper level of the house we have the master bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom, two other double bedrooms, and a full family bathroom.

On the lower level there is another bedroom and bathroom, and the garage. Most of the living has been designed for the second level, where we’ve made the most of the views and the sunlight, but there is still plenty of spare room downstairs.

The design materials we used complement the natural surroundings beautifully. Using folded metal cladding on the upper level of the house has meant that we’ve been very calculated about the location of windows, ensuring we have clean lines and symmetry where needed.

Our clients like the exposed timber look, so we’ve carried it throughout the design to the outside and the underside of the roof where the soffit is, opening the house out to nature. Some vertical timber cladding on the lower level provides a soft contrast to the lines of the upper level cladding and ties in beautifully with the deck and exposed ply.

Overall, we’ve kept the form quite simple with subtle details, and have been very intentional about where we’ve opened the house up and let the light and views in.

The Result

We’ve achieved the perfect combination of having a home that feels very spacious and open while, at the same time, also having dedicated zones where you can enjoy cosy conversations or quiet time in a window seat. Our aim was to create a space where the family can all be together, without feeling like they were on top of each other. The grandparents can be in the same room as the children without feeling like the space is too crowded or noisy. Similarly, you can sit and enjoy the view while someone is cooking in the kitchen, feeling like you’re together but not necessarily in each other’s space.

This home is now oriented on the site in a way that maximises the views and gives our clients a much better layout for how they use their space. They have an inviting home that will accommodate friends and family visiting, while being comfortable for their day-to-day living when no one else is around.

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