Sea-facing home showcases timber and natural stone

Designed to make the most of spectacular ocean views, this home from designer Jesse Ashton features large windows and a spacious outdoor area

Story by: Trends Photography by: Emma Steel

Designer: Jesse Ashton, Hybrid Homes

About the project: The main point of the brief was to create something that it was more than just a house. A dwelling, a lifestyle, a business – a showhome!

We have been building energy efficient sustainable homes under our Hybrid Homes brand since 2006. Every so often when we build a “showhome”, it gives us a chance to try out new ideas and to also showcase the full extent of what we can offer our clients. 

Here, without fear, we can be bold, inventive, creative and test for ourselves what it would be like to live in a fully functioning Hybrid Home.

When we set out on this journey for this, naturally it wasn't  going to be just a roof over somebody’s head. The brief was to make this house work as hard as we do. Every inch of it! 

So, it produces power, collects water, recycles greywater, grows fruit and vegetables and provides a beautiful, healthy place to live.


The home produces power, collects water and recycles architecture, facade, home, house, real estate, window, white
The home produces power, collects water and recycles greywater.

The design team needed to work with the contours of the land, orientation to the sun while capturing Easterly ocean views – therefore taking full advantage of the passive solar design. The house had to provide for natural heating and cooling through thermal sink on winter days and passive ventilation in the summer.

Sustainable non-toxic building materials and practices were incorporated into the design and construction of the house. There was to be no wasted space and it needed careful design  to maximise the use of the materials and minimise construction waste.

The home’s construction materials were chosen for their energy efficiency and sustainability. Thermally broken foundations support a coloured polished concrete floor. The thermally broken framing is 6 x 2 Douglas fir, and insulation is to double the building code requirements; the windows are thermally broken low-e double glazing units. 

The house is equipped with a 4 Kw solar system set up to be a net-zero energy home, plus it has a rainwater collection system and grey water recycling.

Thermally broken foundations support a coloured polished concrete ceiling, home, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, window, gray, white
Thermally broken foundations support a coloured polished concrete floor.

Like any house, it needs to be a home. Streamlined, yet comforting, surrounding provide comfortable family life, yet has the WOW factor for anyone who visits, especially any potential clients. 

That's a challenging balance to strike, but we believe it has been achieved. Natalia’s interior design skills have taken the well thought-out, hardworking house and turned it into a beautiful home. Concrete, timber and glass are softened with colour well used. The mostly white walls are enlivened with artworks or stunning feature wallpapers.

The site location is also worth noting. 

It has a unique and spectacular position with stunning views across the ocean. Equal importance was paid to the indoor-outdoor flow. 

To cope with the varied Canterbury weather and prevailing winds, the design creates a number of outdoor areas. There are a few to choose from: outdoor patio, BBQ dining area, firepit for admiring the ocean and plenty of lawn to play on, a rare occurrence on a hill. 

There is space for fruit trees, and veggie patches. Level entry to and from the house with large sliding doors provide seamless access for effortless entertainment.

The brief was met and we have been able to showcase the ability to be non-reliant on mains power and water, without compromising on style, design and lifestyle.

Aug 03, 2018

Credit list

Jesse Ashton, Hybrid Homes & Living
Hybrid Homes & Living
Window/door joinery
Thermal Broken Aluminium from Metro Glass
Lighting Direct
Interior design
Natalia Harrington
Hagley Kitchens
Exposed concrete
Underfloor Ecomaster
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended





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