Hepburn's Road House

Hepburns ext 03 of 10
Hepburns ext 03 of 10

A new family home for a couple and their university-age daughter, responded to a transition from inner-city living to a country setting with trees, views, seasonal extremes, vegetable gardens and outbuildings.

Evolving working dynamics – a combination of a commute between Christchurch and Auckland and working remotely - have enabled our clients to relocate to a rural site and to reconnect with mid-Canterbury roots. An earlier project in Queenstown (Bendemeer House, 2005) resonated with our clients, and a structured multi-pavilion strategy in robust materials was seen by them to be a desirable and appropriate response to their site.

Themes of longevity, proportion, symmetry, durability, understated muscularity, and a contemporary traditional syntax informed our response to the brief. Our collaboration confirmed a mutual desire for traditional forms, richness of experience, and avoidance of unnecessary gesture.

Combinations of precast concrete, insitu concrete, glass-fibre reinforced concrete, dark-stained timber weatherboards and profiled steel roofing contribute to a cohesive and understated resolution. A material hierarchy separates principal rooms (concrete) from supporting spaces (weatherboard) and ancillary buildings (corrugated steel).

Traditional construction methods underpin the logic of the house, reassuring and straightforward, incorporating in-house references to both silhouette and detailing of Warren and Mahoney’s Canterbury houses of the 1960s as viewed through a contemporary lens.

Interior treatments by Davinia Sutton integrate with the overall intent of the project as envisaged by Warren and Mahoney and our clients.

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