This home was created after a site visit and a quick loose sketch which began as an arrow shape, pointing at the West Coast and the tail nestling back into the hill. The design evolved over several months and this home was the result.
We had some issues to overcome throughout the process, initially the Resource Consent for building within 20m of a major road and the revised earthworks rules of the district plan were overcome, actually in this case twice due to a simple surveying error due to the age of the title.
We then had to contend with wind and weather, for our engineers that meant additional detailing for this very high wind zone, particularly in the double height void on the northern side of the gallery. For our builders it meant getting new waterproof gear and braving wild West Coast storms. For our slab contractor it meant a very wet and frustrating month of July in which time no concrete could be poured, minimal block work was done and extended footings due the sites geology were regularly full of water or suffering small collapses.
However the home soon came together and the spaces began to become apparent, from the skillion ceiling throughout to the double void and owners dedicated second floor weather room with deck allowing him to surveyor the area unobstructed through 360 degrees.
However this home was not without its challenges, a late addition of an internal vacuum system and all the additional steel, required a chase be cut in the entry concrete to allow services through and obviously passive ventilation and gas fires for heating were the only options with the fully rafted roof and of course the conservation required to sustain life off the grid (no mains power). This option was chosen for its confidence in supply, and also the distance to run mains power was a similar sum. Therefore 8 large deep cycle batteries, a diesel generator, wind turbine, photovoltaic’s and a solar hot water system were installed, to match this lighting was chosen carefully so as not to un-necessarily drain the batteries and of course the building orientates in such a way that the living spaces enjoy all day sun from various angles and from plenty of glazing, with the bedrooms enjoying both the view through Hamilton’s gap and the warming afternoon sun.
Micheal Johnson's - New Zealand Paralympian
Michael Johnson, also known as Mike Johnson, (born 15 October 1973 in Auckland, New Zealand) is a
New Zealand paralympic shooter. He started target shooting in 2002 and his first international competition was Oceania 2002, where he competed against other SH2 shooters; Johnson ended up with a fourth placing. However, at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in the SH2 Standing Air event, Johnson shot a perfect 600 out of 600 points world record round in the preliminaries and then equaled the world record for a gold medal in the finals with 704.3.
Johnson was later the first New Zealand World Champion, when in July 2006, where he won the Gold Medal in the SH2 Prone Air event shooting 600 out of 600 points at the IPC World Championships in Switzerland. In 2007 Johnson attended the Jikji Cup in South Korea, he entered into four events SH2 Standing, Prone, Falling Targets and 50m Small-bore and won all four events winning four gold medals and was awarded the MVP award and the Jikji Cup. then in 2008, Johnson attended The Hessian Trophy after shooting 600 out of 600 along with four other shooters he shot a final score of 105.8 to win.
Later that year, Johnson represented his country in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing. Johnson secured a bronze medal in the Mixed R4-10 m air rifle standing SH2 with a score of 701.2 after a shoot-off with South Korean shooter Ho-Gyoung You. 2009 started well with Johnson building towards London 2012 competing again at the Jikji Cup in South Korea now called The Open Asian Shooting Championships. Johnson won 3 medals - Gold in R9 50m event, Silver in R4 10m Air rifle standing and Bronze in R5 10m Air rifle prone. *article above taken from Wikipedia
Mike, one of the owners of this home is in a wheel chair and one of NZ’s medal winning Para-Olympians, therefore his needs were the greatest consideration for design but also coupled with his strong desire for this home to not have an aesthetic which overstated its functionality. The bathrooms, although accessible and designed for his preferred method and side of transfer to the bath, his shower chair or WC are really just large luxurious looking spaces. The vanities each designed specifically around Mikes knee heights and reach are very contemporary looking units.
The kitchen was similarly conceived, with a pull out hob beneath the bench allowing Mike to cook at a safer and more controllable level while not dramatically altering the kitchen aesthetic, nor its functionality for Michelle. Of course being a medal winner is about practice and Mike’s event is the 10m shoot, so we positioned the study and access to it in such a way that he has an uninterrupted indoor space to practice hitting an impossibly small target.
More immediately noticeable are the wide hallways, over size doors and huge slider (8.5metres) opening to the outdoors, the later being less about accessibility and more about men’s appetite for competition after one our previous clients and a friend of Mike included a couple of not quite so monstrous sliders in his house.
Over all a truly usable home from the near level thresholds at each door to the latch heights on the windows, every aspect has been carefully balanced to give Mike and Michelle as much benefit as possible
Carefully approved detail for level entry thresholds was created to suit both the client and council at all entry and egress points, otherwise we had a relatively simple build process, due to our skilled builders who took a strong interest in carrying out new threshold details to maintain the clients expectations both aesthetically and functionally, obviously a good-natured enthusiastic client goes a long way to on site harmony which can be reflected in our builders ability to get on with their work and produce another high quality home.