Green Family Home Patrick Reynolds Photographer 1

Green Family Home


Michael O’Sullivan / Bull O'Sullivan Architecture

1. Residential design award for single family dwelling

Photographed by: 
Patrick Reynolds

Many people in NZ heard the volcano in Tonga erupt on the 14th of January last year.

I didn’t.

When Banks Peninsula erupted it must have rattled the whole world. We are now eternally grateful for the magnificent landscape.

This home is a sculptural place on that ‘cause and effect.’

Shrouded at the perimeter in a porous concrete masonry wall that is a nod to Mayan living, the home is clad in copper, and lined in a sumptuous palette of native and exotic timbers. For a home orientated to the south, the warmth of timber reimburses the warmth lost with the early-to-set winter sun.

Floors are constructed from solid oak parquet flooring, appropriated to mimic the toothed ridge-line of Te Ahu Patiki (Mount Herbert), and Mount Bradley, across the Lyttleton harbour. A collaboration with JSC timbers, the irregularity of the ridge-line effected irregularity in the floorboards, which pleat and fold across the ground plane. Different board widths were required to accommodate joins at various angles.

Walls are lined in oak tongue and groove panels, laid vertically to seamlessly wrap around the interior, expressing the sculptural curvature of the home.

All curved joinery was constructed from timber, given its excellent dimensional stability and capacity to be sculpted and bent. Vertical cedar fins that span the height of the stairwell bring an awareness to the sky, the mountains and the earth, in that order.

In-built seating and shelving folds elegantly into the extrusions and curves of the built form, bringing amenity and function to unconventional spaces. Constructed from solid oak, furnishings are designed to last, and warm to touch. A custom dining table from roasted ash, nestles into the round of the dining nook in the heart of the home.

Hovering overhead, cedar boards clad the lower ceilings, creating intimacy and compression. Above the entry, kitchen and dining, and wrapping up the face of the mezzanine balustrade, 200 x 20mm cedar boards which reach outward toward Quail Island, are punctuated with a 50 x 20mm fin every two boards. The natural colour variance of cedar creates a soft rhythm, against the brighter more uniform oak that lines the higher ceilings.

1200 x 2400mm oak veneer ply panels line the higher portions of ceiling, running perpendicular to the compressed cedar-lined ceilings below. The oak folds into skylights, window jams and sills, to frame solid elements in the landscape beyond. Triangular battens conceal the lateral joins, and span east to west with the rising and setting sun, and parallel to the waves which gently lap at Cass Bay.