House on Hazel

Project Description.  This concrete home from the 1970’s is sited on a north-facing slope and enjoys panoramic water views.
The requirement was to transform it into a modern dwelling of substance. Details of decades ago – brown clinker brick interior feature walls and orange and brown vinyl, for example – had to go. It was an exciting challenge for the designer. The big issue was the height limit, which the original roof had already reached.
Also of significance was the need for a massive reconfiguration of space. The fantastic vista was wasted, with the old master bedroom and a closed-in sunroom located in the prime viewing position – this space was crying out to be dedicated to main living. 
A dream needing to be realised was the ability to sit in key communal areas, or stand at the kitchen bench, and be able to see the cruise ships leaving Tauranga harbour. Spaces needed to be re-jigged and opened up to allow exactly that. An open plan living area would also enable a flow to the outdoors. Excavation work needed to occur to enable the creation of a new master bedroom with robe and en suite.
Plans to create a dramatic, new front entrance meant the original entry be relegated to the back door. Transformation plans included replacing twin garage doors with a single, larger unit. Also on the lower level, the creation of a guest suite was required. Design features and creative solutions. Moving the main living areas from their lower level location gave scope for the creation of a guest suite and an impressive entrance and foyer area. The entry door and adjoined side walls are lined with high gloss acrylic, divided into panels to create a little mystery - where is that door? Push the buzzer to find out.
The home’s presence to the street has been enhanced with a 1.5 metre cantilevered, butterfly roof overhang. Tricky engineering involving height restrictions was required but worth it aesthetically, plus the overhang keeps the northern sun at bay. The eye-catching wide soffit also catches dancing reflections from the roof-top pond / water feature sited over the entry.
The inclusion of white, polished, porcelain tiles on the majority of external columns and abutments is a creative touch. The tiles add reflection and textural difference from the StoTherm over Concrete block, plastered walls.
Internally, the vision was achieved – indeed cruise ships can be viewed from key areas, thanks to wall removal and room re-zoning. Predominantly concrete walls and intermediate floor made for difficult renovations; but quiet living and great thermal mass are beneficial. Clerestory windows allow for passive ventilation and the fall of natural light in the Lounge. The double access to the kitchen serveries – from within the house and the outside seating area - provides flexibility for all occasions.
The biggest addition to the project was the master bedroom and en suite structure. The bedroom pulls in the view via double sliding doors that leave a corner completely open.

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