This off grid residence is situated in a dramatic location whereby the unforgiving environment demands a durable and robust design. With no neighbours in sight and 270 degree uninterrupted views this project warranted something special.
This building platform was formed on a sloping site, in the sea spray zone, in a high Earthquake zone, and is in an exceptionally high zone.
The exterior is clad with a custom designed low maintenance cladding system above the 1.2m high “party” wall which is clad with equally durable and very clean silver-grey Otago schist. The seaward walls lean out at just ten degrees, as if bracing themselves into the frequent onshore winds. The out of plumb walls, in conjunction with the steel chimney cap, the upper walls “planking” creates a pseudo “plimsol” line at the junction between the two claddings. Collectively these features are meant to emulate a more nautical than residential form, intended to complement the coastal location and proximity to the sea.
The site underwent considerable excavation and retaining walls constructed to ensure that the wind swept over the top of the rear deck area, and to provide some additional relief from the strong North Westerly winds.
Features include a 8,000kg underground thermal water store where the 4kw vertical axis wind turbine stores enough energy in the form of hot water (instead of dumping excess energy when the batteries are full) to fire the central heating system during the cooler months. Undertile heating and a Lossnay balanced ventilation system completes the interior environmental controls. Aside from the tiled bathrooms the floors are clad with engineered jarrah overlay flooring, with all interior door frames & finishes also jarrah to match. The smartwood joinery to the living areas also uses jarrah which reinforces the high specification used for this build. The custom designed LED halo light to the living area was designed in-house for this project.
The kitchen boasts black granite work surfaces, Miele whiteware, and a full size Delonghi wine chiller. The appliances are all electric except the gas hob, which is a testament to the efficiency of the off grid system. And yes there is a microwave, a washing machine and a drier. The large one piece stone bath and floor mounted tapware ensures that the master bathroom gives you an impression of being somewhere special.
The external living spaces are well protected from the wind with the seaward areas afforded additional protection with motorised aluminium louvres. The cantilevered hearth underlines the warmth of the large open fire, whose flu extends upwards through the full height schist chimney terminating in an oversized stainless steel chimney cap to reduce unwanted flu noise.