A scarcity of building sites can make it difficult to find a contemporary home in a preferred city location. Sometimes, the best solution is to simply start again by removing an existing house and building anew.
For the owners of this city property, Mal and Sue Kukas, it wasn't quite that straightforward the original house shared a party wall with the neighbours. The site was also very long and narrow, which made it all the more challenging to meet height-to-boundary restrictions.
Architect Adam Grund-mann of BG Architecture says a negotiated solution enabled the architectural team and the builder, Kukas Brothers, to look on it as a stand-alone greenfields site, rather than a half site.
"The solution involved changing the roof line on a neighbouring house, which had the added benefit of exposing a sea view from the second floor," Grundmann says. "It also meant a double garage and balcony could be built right to the boundary."
In keeping with the need to maximise the narrow site, and the desire for a contemporary architectural style, the new house was designed as a mainly square-edged, two-storey volume, with a robust, concrete-block construction.
"The front elevation needed to incorporate a double garage, which takes up a significant part of the street frontage," says Grundmann. "To help take the eye away from this, the first floor is a more articulated element, which cantilevers over the garage.
"Layering this timber-clad volume over the concrete-block wall helped determine the monumental form of the front of the house. The slot windows on the first floor contribute to the sculptural look they also work as a more discreet window for the master suite beyond."