Contemporary Family Home



Old Post Office Building 51 Willow Street,
Tauranga, NZ

07 579 ...

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The clients, a big family with teenage kids wanted a home to grow into with simple clean lines that would engage well with the pool and garden for entertaining and family gatherings. The home is situated on a level residential site.  The site faces north to the street and has north west views of the Kaimai Ranges.  The driveway sweeps up to the front door which opens to a high ceiling entry space, bedroom wing and open plan living that captures the sun.  North facing decks invite outdoor living and access to the landscaped garden and swimming pool.

A bedroom wing and living area wing are joined side by side by the interconnecting entry / hall to form a skillion sawtooth roof line. Clerestory windows in the roof wall provide natural light to internal areas of the home, brightening the entry, hallway, scullery and bedrooms.

The living, dining and kitchen areas open to the north facing covered deck that provides sunny and shaded spots for outdoor living.  The prevailing wind comes from the west and the deck has a picture frame glazed panel framing the northwest view to the ranges in the screen wall. Dark stained cedar shiplap weatherboards and Insitu ‘board formed’ concrete walls are the exterior materials. Veneer blonded plywood skillion ceilings and oak timber floors lighten and warm the interior to balance the dark stained exterior.

Setting the house well back from the street provides the optimum balance between open outdoor space and north facing sun to the living areas and covered decks. The house is orientated due north to enjoy maximum sunshine. This aspect directs the living and bedroom spaces away from looking at the neighbouring home. Large windows frame the northwest view to the Kaimai Ranges. The height of the skillion roof and the deep eaves over the deck areas control the north and west sun entering the main living spaces. The passive solar heating design provides ventilation through opening louvre windows in the walls to release excess heat. The winter sun can heat the concrete thermal mass surface to capture and release heat into the building. Excessive solar gain is controlled with larger wall panels to the west facing walls.

The house is heated using passive solar principles and a wood burning fireplace with minimal glazing to the southern side and a very high degree of thermal insulation. A full heat recovery ventilation and heat transfer system efficiently delivers warms fresh filtered air to all spaces.

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