House site & location
Aspect: As you can see from the photos and videos the house site has wide sea views from the North-West to North East. The site is 11,000m2 undulating sloping north towards the water. There is a natural basin with flat site in about the middle of the property which is approximately where I would like to locate the house (see "NZ House site sketch"). The natural slope of the land around this flat site lends itself for the house to be integrated into the surrounding land, potentially with garage built into the sloping hillside behind to the east of the house site. The slope of the land to the front (north, north west) perhaps lends to having the man-cave built into this, under the main house or front lawn/patio area. (just ideas but I look fwd to your creative ideas more)
Weather: The site is located in the southern hemisphere so a north facing house will see more winter sun than a south facing house. The predominant wind comes from the south west so the house positioning needs to reflect these two considerations to provide adequate shelter while sitting outside. This natural flow can also be harnessed during the summer months to keep the house cool (passive ventilation). New Zealand also has quite high rain fall so all eves should be wide enough to provide some shelter, especially in the alfresco areas.
Regarding the "NZ House site sketch" file: It shows the slope and general area I think would be a good location for the house site. Please ignore the two small green boxes that were previous possible house sites. Note the idea of a possible driveway that follows the curve of the already planted (native) tree line that will provide shelter from the SW wind and also bring bird life to the property
There is currently a building restriction for this site meaning there is a 50m set back required for the house site from the seaward (northern boundary). It may be possible to get an exemption for this restriction, if there is good reason, but would realistically only be perhaps by 10m or so. Please consider this within the final design & if your design does bring the building site (including swimming pool) in front of this 50m set back please try to include any suitable reasoning why the house should have this position.
General House considerations
Passive heating/cooling (using high & low windows and creating natural air flow through the house design)
Utilize solar panels on the roof
Open plan – utilizing different split-levels (eg: kitchen 2 steps above the lounge area but still open plan).
Should have plenty of storage space
Utilize natural lay of land
Seamless Indoor/Outdoor flow
Maximize the view from each room
Feeling of openness but also cozy corners/areas
Pleasing to the eye (inside & outside)
Form of house in line with the land – more natural than industrial (curves, angles etc) – don’t like most of the modern box type designs
Option for garage and mancave built into the hillside/land
Landscaping enhancing the natural slope of the land and tying in the different areas
Pool – infinity pool in front of the house
I do like curves and non-standard shapes/angles rather than every room being a square box. This needs to be married with the reality of how the house will be built and the additional cost non-square walls/roofs cost.
Trying to maintain a mainly single level house that uses and L or U shape design to create a cozy/sheltered area facing north away from the SW wind. It may be advantageous to have some rooms or just the master bedroom on a second level, again trying to keep it in line with the lay of the land and more low profile however many levels rather than a two story box stuck onto the land.
I quite like textured or coloured concrete floors and for any areas built into the hill/land I think insulated, weather proofed concrete walls & ceiling are probably the only practical solution where there will be potentially wet soil above and around the space. Suitable/adequate drainage will need to be planned
Rooms: I am thinking of the following types of rooms to make up the house....layout and positioning is at your design discretion to follow the brief: Entrance, half bathroom (guest toilet), Lounge, Kitchen, Dining, Master bedroom w super king bed (ensuite with shower & jacuzzi tub & walk in wardrobe), 2 separate rooms for the kids large enough for queen beds (shared bathroom with bath and separate shower + built in wardrobes), guest suite/room for parents (with ensuite & wardrobe), music room for piano students to visit for lessons, alfresco area, pool house (possible separate or possibly linked by alfresco area. - with separate kitchenette, ensuite, queen bed and small lounge area, open plan), man cave (perhaps under house? see below 4 details), study/office with built in shelves & view to the sea, kids TV/Play room, garage for 2 cars & 2 motorbikes plus room for firewood storage and 2 large chest freezers plus storage shelving area.
Kitchen: Together with the Lounge and Alfresco area the kitchen will be the main area of the house that gets the most use. Needs to be very functional, spacious and conducive for 5-6 people to hang out in the general kitchen area (bench?) while someone is cooking. Needs to have space enough for two people to be able to cook and move around in the kitchen. Needs to have an island with small sink at least included. Will have large industrial gas stove plus the usual high end appliances. Large walk in pantry. Possibly doorway/connection to the garage if garage is near kitchen for ease of bringing shopping etc into kitchen. Lots of bench space. Needs to naturally flow to the lounge and dining room and/or alfresco area.
Lounge: Needs to capture the fabulous view and have a little bit of wow factor when people walk in from the entrance. Open plan but with warmth created with wood, stone and glass. High ceilings in this area to provide large windows for the view and the feeling of space, I like wood sarking on the ceiling with exposed beams. A large fireplace (stone) will be a feature of some sorts.
Dining room: Close to the kitchen and also enjoying great views, has an easy flow to and around this area so adequate space and human traffic flow from kitchen to lounge, alfresco area and other areas needs to be free flowing. A lower ceiling is ok here if necessary. Table will be a natural slab of wood to seat around 8-10 people.
Entrance: I like a nice stone entrance or something that is in line with the rest of the house design. Double/large door is nice and opening into a foyer where coats and boots/shoes etc can be taken off as there will be no shoes in the house so coat and shoe racks would be logical to be here. Perhaps nice if people can’t see the “wow” view from the entrance but have to walk around a corner or something to then open up to the more expansive and open lounge/kitchen area with views over the garden/grass/pool area to the sea
Alfresco: This will get a lot of use in the summer/spring. There will be another large natural slap table with built in BBQ. The area needs to be fully covered with large eves so even if raining you can sit out there without getting wet. Needs to flow to the kitchen. An outdoor shower and bench to clean fish needs to be incorporated. Nice if there was a pizza oven too.
Master Bedroom: Has excellent views to the sea, bathroom should also enjoy some view, at least from the shower. Large walk in wardrobe, possibly behind the bed with the ensuite. Ensuite bathroom should have a very large bath and separate shower, it is nice if both the bath and shower are able to enjoy the views to the sea (not critical). Should be his/her basins.
Man Cave: I have in mind that this will be under the main house/lawn area, mainly to maximise the building cost if this house/foundations are fully/partially built from concrete. If there are other ideas where to locate this then I am open to those ideas. The man-cave does not need to be expansive, more cozy and private is the feeling I prefer with nooks and curious spaces and plenty of storage and incorporate a clean work area (large desk & chair), entertaining area with seating, TV and pool table. An internal wall with window out to the "dirty" work area with extensive work bench for wood working and metal working, large enough to fit two cars and still have work space. Ceiling height at 9 ft is fine. Separate toilet accessible from both sides. This area can also incorporate the pump room for the swimming pool, if location is suitable (?), it should be accessible from the alfresco area via stairway
Flooring: I like natural wood, tiles and maybe carpet in the bedrooms. Underfloor heating for tiled areas in the bathrooms and kitchen.
Glazing: Double glazing through out and using standard size windows where possible to minimize any custom design costs. I like the bi-folding doors that open right up, also the design that has no step up/down across the open space when the doors are opened (see bedroom design in Inspiration photos)
Pool – Pool needs to be at least 15m long for single swim lane but can have a shorter shallow section for kids to play as well. Open to any ideas/designs there so long as it is infinity design and flows well with the garden/alfresco area etc.
Cladding and roofing - I am totally open to suggestions on what the outside cladding and roofing should be. Again it should match with the landscape and be in the natural tones. Easy/minimal maintenance and long life should be considered considered when choosing materials.
Things I like
See Like photos in Inspiration Images
Wood, stone, glass. Window seats, lots of storage, open plan separated by 2 steps up/down to create separate areas while being open plan, walk around wardrobes, walk around kitchen island and generally spaces accessible (when practical) from two sides; bi-folding doors that open right up; bi-folding doors that allows seemless flow (no step) from inside to outside; wide eves offering additional protection and shelter from the weather; rooms that don't feel like a box - either using shape, colour, furniture, corners, window seats etc...break up too many boxy lines; high natural wood ceilings, big beams; stone/slate fire place; solid wood floors; tiles and outside cobblestones, green grass, infinity pool, palm trees; outside window planters boxes growing herbs to pick from inside; grass/concrete pavers for driveway; pebble concrete (see photos); indoor/outdoor flow, natural flow or lines and curves inside & in garden; outdoor pizza oven. Skylights and light tubes, sun sails
Things I don’t like
See Don’t like photos in Inspiration Images
Boxy buildings, square shapes, flat roof
Any other questions feel free to ask. While I have some pretty clear ideas on what I like I really want this competition to open my mind to other ideas and concepts I may not have considered so don’t feel you need to design exactly as I have described here, these are just things I like. Don't feel you need to throw a melting pot of all the things I have put in the LIKE section, that is just to help give you a feel for the style/things that work for me.
Design & originality (40%)
Design will be scored on how well it integrates with the building site, the overall look and feel plus has an efficient and pleasing floor plan. I will look for unusual or novel design features that set the house part in terms of functionality, practicality, and comfort - as well as a house that looks great on this site. When I say originality I am purely referring to developing ideas/designs that fit specifically to this site rather than something that looks like it has been copied from another sloping building site you did last year.
The design should be clearly presented in both graphical and written form. Graphics should include site plan, general floor plan, and elevations. Interior perspectives/design features are a bonus. I want enough to be able to visualize the house, and be able to work from these to develop future construction plans. When describing your work in words (250-500), think of how you might write for readers of an architectural magazine. What are the special design elements that you think make this design work well for this site and what I am looking for?? I would also like a detailed material and budget listing to develop my realistic expectations together with the AutoCAD .DWG files for all plans, elevations, cross-sections, and isometric views
- I have put quite a bit of guidance but I am very open to questions and look forward to seeing some creative designs and ultimately working further with the winner. email@example.com