Functionality, beauty and a sense of connection

The empire house was designed for a retired couple with a brief focusing on functionality and a sense of place

Story by: Trends Photography by: Ben Hosking
This living space sits at the centre of architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, furniture, house, interior design, living room, real estate, wall, wood, wood flooring, white, brown, gray
This living space sits at the centre of the home

Architect: Lachlan Shepherd Architects

From the architect: The empire house was designed for a retired couple with a brief revolving around functionality, beauty and a sense of connection with place (on a compact allotment).

The response was to design a home which is "sheltered" from the streets, with a low slung, understated facade, that reveals little about the internal volumes one encounters upon entry.

Strategic use of glazing, including an internal/external sunroom space allows for filtered views of greenery and sky without compromising the internal amenity and privacy of the occupants. Highlight glazing and eave detailing also allows for full northern winter sun penetration and the exclusion of summer sun.

The material palette was selected for its low-maintenance and longevity with the intention that it will weather beautifully over time.

The somewhat clinical nature of precast concrete, used throughout the home as an anchoring element has been softened with extensive use of internal timber components.


Sep 05, 2017





Similar stories

Strong, contemporary designer awnings make more of your outdoor spaces

Modern design, quality fixings and premium acrylic canvas in the colour of your choice go into durable designer awnings from Johnson & Couzins Read more

A Warmington wood or gas fire can bring your home to life

Indoor or outdoor gas or wood-burning fires are offered by heating specialist Warmington Fires Read more


The Bricklane range of porcelain tiles brings a versatility to residential and commercial spaces. Read more

Latest books

Homes Trends Vol. 34/4

Whether space for your new bathroom is generous or modest, you'll want to create a room that not only looks good but is also a breeze to use. And that often means working around restrictions of plumbing locations, the po... Read more

Home Trends Vol. 34/3

The design of our homes – new or renovated – should be an individualistic response to our lifestyle, family set-up and budget. But there are also common requirements we should all aim for – a balance of public and private... Read more

Home Trends Vol. 33/7

While we might all have ideas for the home design that we want, consulting a good architect or designer will also open us up to other design possibilities that we haven't thought of.To help get you started on creating the... Read more

Related profiles


Architectural hardware plays a small but integral role in any building project. Each fitting and fixture needs to both look and play the part. Read more

Glasshape Ltd

Glasshape, established in 1986, is a leading innovator, designer and manufacturer of curved, toughened and laminated specialty glass. Family owned and based in Auckland, New Zealand, Glasshape’s philosophy of growth through innovat... Read more

RH Cabinetmakers

With years of experience, we specialise in custom cabinet design of quality kitchens, bathroom vanities, laundries, furniture, shelving, counters & bars. Read more