Pendrous Residence by Studio MWA

Pendrous Residence by Studio MWA

Architects: Studio MWA
Project Team: Davor Mikulcic, Michael Maddern
Area: Floor area 280 sqm, terraces 130 sqm, landscaped over 300 sqm, site 560 sqm
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

The first site visit and site analysis were crucial for the design of the Pendrous Residence. Good ”separation” for each functional area in the house as well as capturing fantastic views on one side towards Wellington – city and harbour and on another side towards Petone shore, Eastbourne and Lower Hutt and further over the valley, with simple clean lines and forms were my guide which determinate this design.

From very simple and explicit client brief, was required to accommodate a new Residence with approximately 260 sqm floor area on the Western – flattish part of app. 550 sqm section.

The design concept of this house was simple. Create around central stairwell on three levels new residence (to fit under Wellington City Council planning regulation – height control plane requirements and boundary set-back). Each level is organized as functional zone in house and in same time orientate internal spaces to maximize sun and view whilst maintaining privacy. To accommodate Residence on three levels, for lower ground level was required app. 1.5 m cut to maintain building under high control plane and in same time maintain WCC requirements about boundary setback. Approximately half of 550 m2 site has slope of app. 35 degree what additionally make design complex and challenging.

Very exposed site to prevailing Southerly and Northerly winds (specific design wind zone) and proximity of neighbouring houses in some way determine that new Residence “can not” be “classical house with pitched roof”. Considering all above “sculptural approach” was immediate option which in many ways covers functional, aesthetical, regulatory, budget etc. requirements. Idea about “merging” roof and wall structure and “follow shape of internal spaces” through analysis determinate existing design. Through material finishes and choosing “colour scheme” all that additionally supported first initial idea about “sculpture”. This concept allowed us to create “façades” which are very different – some “totally blind” and without “openings” and some totally in double glazing.

The use of passive solar energy was imperative from start and we successfully achieved it using for structural slab concrete finished with floor tiles what particularly in winter “suck sun” and as “passive collector” store it and distribute. Double glazing with maximum insulation for roof, walls and floors supported it. House is orientated to achieve maximum sun (and view) without compromising privacy. Monochromatic exterior colour scheme was deliberately chosen to accentuate the sculptured appearance, avoid trends and fit comfortably into landscaping. Exterior materials and finishes further emphasize simple clean lines and stay “classic” in appearance.

Clients aspiration, and dictate of site, sun, view and budget with our creative approach resulted in this three dimensional form – simple, clean and contemporary in appearance.


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