Embracing design

With its symmetrical lines and solid concrete-block construction, this new Firth Masonry Villa from Masonry Design Solutions is a welcome haven
The entrance & stairway of this magnificant home baluster, floor, flooring, handrail, hardwood, interior design, laminate flooring, stairs, structure, wood flooring, brown
The entrance & stairway of this magnificant home

For many people, building a new house is not about fleeting fashion trends. It's about creating a home that conveys a sense of permanence a house that will be appreciated by future generations.

It's a concept well understood by architectural designer Mark Wilson of Masonry Design Solutions. His company is part of The Masonry Group, a group of companies that specialise in the design and construction of masonry homes.

Wilson says the owners of the house featured on these pages wanted their home to convey a feeling of substance in the manner of traditional European homes. Designing a Firth Masonry Villa was the best way to provide both the solid construction and the modern-day comfort required.

"At 550m², the house is very large and it needed a solid, thick-walled construction to convey the sense of a substantial home that was built to last," he says.

The home features a central two-storey structure with symmetrical wings at the sides. Loggias with solid concrete columns provide sheltered outdoor living areas. In keeping with the owners' desire for a good indoor-outdoor flow, all the ground floor rooms open to an expansive courtyard and pool complex.

A separate wing houses a large garage and a studio on the first floor. This has an internal link to the house.


View of a room with polished concrete flooring architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, hardwood, home, house, interior design, light, lighting, property, real estate, room, wall, window, wood, gray, red
View of a room with polished concrete flooring

Firth Hotbloc was used for the construction. These 200mm concrete blocks incorporate a layer of polystyrene for added insulation. As well as protecting against extremes of heat and cold, Firth Hotbloc is designed to insulate against sound.

"From the moment you first step inside a Firth Masonry Villa, you can feel the quiet atmosphere and the sense that you are in a building that effectively shuts out the outside world," says Wilson.

The Hotbloc construction provides deep reveals around the doors and windows, which are reminiscent of traditional European villas. However, the construction also suits the more streamlined look of contemporary interiors, as architraves and scotias are not required.

Other Firth concrete products used in the construction include the Firth Ribraft flooring system. The company says this system has up to four times the thermal insulation of a conventional concrete floor.

The house also features the Unispan concrete mid-floor system, which allows sound to be contained within each floor. This precast flooring system can span up to 8m without intermediary support, which allows for spacious ground-floor rooms.

In the entrance Firth products include Hinuera Stone flooring and concrete stairs. Polished concrete is a feature of the studio above the garage.

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View of the landscaping & design of the Firth Masony Villa

"Hard flooring is used throughout the house," says Wilson. "In other rooms, the flooring is Tasmanian oak. This helps maintain a contemporary feel, and adds an element of warmth."

Whakatane Pebble, an exposed aggregate from Firth is used for the driveway.

For details, contact Masonry Design Solutions, PO Box 300-252, Albany, Auckland, phone (09) 448 1101, mob 021 597 347, fax (09) 448 1102. Or view the website: www.themasonrygroup.co.nz.

Or contact Firth Industries, Private Bag 99-904, Newmarket, Auckland, phone Firth Customer Service 0800 800 576, or visit the website: www.firth.co.nz.

May 14, 2004
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