Redcliffs House

by MAP Architects
Redcliffs House MAP Architects

The home floats on a steeply sloping site in the Port Hills above Redcliffs, turning its back on the cold, easterly wind, but opening every room onto a generous deck and the view across the estuary, over the beach and to the Kaikoura Ranges beyond. The gallery provides space for the clients collection of original art, but is also the arrival point for visitors, with sight-lines from the main entrance into the living space and the view beyond.
The main entrance is marked by a lavastone clad blade wall. This axis leads through the wide gallery space into the kitchen / living / dining area and the view beyond. A small carport at the top of the site services a secondary entrance giving level access through a side door to a small laundry, future proofing the house for the ageing client, so she can bring in the shopping without having to worry about stairs. This sets up the second axis flowing from the laundry, into the wide gallery, past the living area a spare bedroom, bathroom and through to the master bedroom at an angle on the end. Stairs lead down from the gallery to the glass-walled carport and the swimming pool area below.
The plan of the home was dictated by the local climate and the topography of the site. The home ‘sits its bum’ on the highest point of the site and spans across to a concrete block bridgehead at the lower end. Integrated into the bridgehead is the main garage, which may be adapted into an art studio for the client, and beneath that the pool area. The building floats above its sloping site, providing a shaded landscaped space beneath.
The pool area at the base of the site is shaded from the prevailing easterly wind forming a great suntrap. The pool aligns to the view and appears to float above the city and the ever changing estuary.
Externally, the facade that buffets the easterly and southerly winds is clad in 3mm Corten steel panels, a low maintenance option for the client. Slot windows penetrate the Corten skin allowing view shafts to the west and east. South facing clerestory windows allow great natural light to the gallery. The red rust has been allowed to bleed into the raw finish concrete block base, accentuating the dynamic aspects of the cladding. The cladding system changes for the internal aspects of the house facing north, with a skin of glass and aluminium wrapping around the garapa timber deck.
The open aspect facing the view is largely glass, with aluminium cladding and garapa timber deck flooring that has weathered silver. The house is a response to its climatic context and topography, providing a sheltered, sunny and comfortable home.

Photos by Lisa Gane

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