This house on a rural ridge in Northland is an architectural response to tight constraints.
A narrow building platform enforced by geotechnical requirements proved a design benefit for architect Stephen Smith of S3 Architects Ltd. He decided to have two wings of the house hanging in space above a sloping hillside. The six-metre cantilever with pebble garden beneath gives the structure a lightness and angularity that raises it to a higher level of visual interest.
The breathtaking views made the ridge a natural choice for the house site. One resulting challenge is the exposure to wind, a prospect that Smith countered with sheltered outside areas and door openings that are pulled back inside the cladding line for weather protection.
APL Architectural Series windows and doors are used throughout in a combination of black frost and silver anodised finish. The wall cladding is in random Cedar profiles laid vertically and shiplapped. Behind is a plywood air barrier. The wide soffits are also in plywood.
Tall and wide sliding doors are a feature of the house design. One overwall, 2.7m high slider opening on to the central courtyard is fitted with a cedar screen fixed to the APL Architectural Series panel to enhance privacy and filter light.
Corner sliders in the living and dining area are 3m high with one bank of panels withdrawing into a cavity for maximum clear opening.