Downes Residence

by

INSIGHT ARCHITECTURE

Old Post Office Building 51 Willow Street,
Tauranga, NZ

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“With elevated harbour views over Motuhoa Island to Mount Maunganui the site required special treatment architecturally. Hemmed in by an unstable sea cliff to the east pressing the house against the street and a narrow but broad section facing the east the owners brief was ‘a single storey home with a view for each room and a home that is contemporary but with a traditional feel. Private to the street but open to the harbour!”

Three interconnecting pavilions combine to form the structure of the house divided into living, dining/cooking and sleeping areas. A gable ended roof structure extending past the end of each pavilion, providing outdoor living shelter and is supported by stone columns. While oriented to the eastern view, valuable north light is brought into the home via a glazed north facing courtyard, northlight high windows and strategic north facing glazing.

With an emphasis on natural materials riverstone, vertical cedar and plastered masonry complete the exterior of the building. Local riverstone has been formed into bold columns supporting the sheltering overhang of the roof. Tiled patios, timber walkways planters and plastered boundary walls provide a refined landscape setting. Sliding doors open completely maximising outdoor access. Automated high windows provide ventilation for the interior while concrete floors provide thermal mass for Geothermal hotwater heating pipes throughout the home and finishing in the pool heated to 35 degrees. With concrete walls heavily insulated externally and the low profile roof clad with warm roof technology the home provides the highest level of thermal efficiency and acoustic performance.

A dramatic cedar clad cantilevered entry roof over a stone lined entry faces invitingly to the streetscape and presents a formal entry to the home providing a strong sense of arrival with a visual link to the harbour views visible through the entry hall. A 14m long recessed light in the entry ceiling draws the visitor into the living space and connects them with the harbour views.

The 402m2 three bedroom home includes 3.6 m stud height, open plan living, generous kitchen, scullery, dining area, guest suite and office. To the north the sheltered outdoor entertaining area enjoys the harbour views and maintains privacy from neighbouring homes.

Saturn Range - switches and sockets
Saturn Range - switches and sockets
Saturn Range - switches and sockets
Saturn Range - switches and sockets
Escea DL1100 High Efficiency Fireplace (Gas)
Saturn Range - switches and sockets

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