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  • Writer's pictureTony Biesiek

Feature Project: House for Brent & Jazz

Location: New Plymouth, NEW ZEALAND.

The brief from Brent & Jazz was for a family home to provide a sanctuary on their narrow city site. Key comments early on were “Japanese/Zen/Modernist style with outdoor living and swimming pool integrated into the design”. The material palette was to include precast concrete walls, polished concrete floors and vertical cedar cladding. Outdoor living was a high priority so easy access between indoor and outdoor spaces was essential as was ensuring adequate sun was available at different times of the day to the patios and the pool.

The journey through this home begins with a concrete front fence embossed with the street number. Entering the front court via the steel gate is a lushly vegetated entry patio framed by concrete walls and large concrete soffit overhang, finishing with a large, solid cedar door.

Once inside the eye is drawn through the home to the finely crafted timber & steel stairs followed by the open living space with a sophisticated white, black and timber kitchen. To create a sense of space and light the volume of the open plan living areas is extended vertically through a dining room double height space and a 3.6m lounge ceiling. The journey continues past three bedrooms & a bathroom and finishes with a short step out to the in-ground pool. Upstairs there is the master bedroom suite, separate living room and office nook. City, mountain and coastal views are gained from this level. The master suite enjoys a generous walk through wardrobe and luxurious en-suite.

The confines of the site posed a few issues. How do we fit the spaces required and maintain a sense of space, privacy and access to sunlight? The solution was first to establish when the different spaces were to be used and then with that data in mind careful bulk modelling was done to track sun angles into the spaces at both different times of the day and the year. This process determined the optimum allocation of space and light whilst still adhering to good practice in passive solar design.

With the street frontage north facing and the garage occupying a large portion of this area access to solar gain was focussed on balancing the eastern and western sun angles in a ratio of 2/3 east and 1/3 west. The smaller, narrower western windows not only metered the solar gain in the afternoon, but they also afforded privacy from the adjacent 2 storey neighbour. With so much thermal mass storage in the walls and floors the effects of the low amount of northern glazing is somewhat mitigated.

Structure is strongly expressed in this home with the concrete ground floor, concrete walls and steel beams all fully exposed. Upper floor is also concrete. The roof is timber framed. Further expression of detail is seen through the structure of the staircase with its steel verticals providing both support and aesthetic. The finer details of the house are accentuated with LED lighting, high spec electrical faceplates and a discreet audio system.


2018 ADNZ – National Architecture Awards

  • Finalist – New House 150m2 - 300m2

2018 ADNZ – Architecture Awards - Taranaki/Wanganui/Manawatu

  • 1st place – House for Brent & Jazz - New House 150m2 - 300m2

2018 MASTER BUILDERS - House of The Year - Taranaki/Wanganui/Manawatu

  • Winner - Gold Award

  • Winner - New House $1m - $2m

  • Winner - Lifestyle Award

Colours & Materials:

Wall Cladding: Western Red Cedar Vertical Shiplap – Colour “Smokey Ash”

Structure: Precast Concrete Walls – Colour “5% Black Oxide”

Roofing: Equus DeBoer Torch-on membrane

Swimming Pool: Mayfair Pools

Wall & Ceiling: St Clair Half

Kitchen Appliances: Bosch and F&P Dishdrawer

Heating: In slab hydronic

Tapware: Methven

Lighting: LED – Ideal Electrical & ECC Lighting


Designer: Tony Biesiek – Imagine Architecture

Builder: Profound Group

Structural: BCD Group

Photography: Kallan MacLeod

Site area: 564m2

Floor area: 275m2

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