Looking to engage more intimately with the home's setting, this flexible extension of a central living pavilion creates extra living room space and a large outdoor room

Designed by Modo Architects

From the architect:

The aim and outcome

After 12 years living in this house on a Marlborough vineyard, the owners required extra living and entertaining spaces together with a large covered outdoor living area. 

At the same time, they wanted to extend the landscaping design, including regeneration of flora around the water edge.

The challenge was not only respecting the original design concept, but in fact improving on it. 

The result is a flexible extension of the whole central living pavilion, consisting of extra living room space and a large outdoor room. 

The outdoor room is a multipurpose space, using full height sliding doors and retracting a roof, to operate both as an enclosed extension of the dining and living room, or a completely open deck.

Paving, steps, and more native plantation then lead down to the edge of Spring Creek where a secluded deck awaits.

Key site influences

This part of Marlborough is vineyard country – a large flat plain bounded by hills to the north, south, distant west, and Te Koko-oKupe / Cloudy Bay to the east. 

The weather can be very hot and dry in summer, and very cold in winter, with high sunshine hours year round.

This site is a family-owned vineyard next to SH1 with the Spring Creek river running right around the north and west boundaries.

Problems and solutions

Consisting of 4 low-lying interconnected pavilions, the existing house, also designed by Brendon Monk, sits on a large pad built up to the level of the river stop bank. 

The local risk management programme (RMP) required the house to be setback a minimum distance from the front edge of the stop bank to maintain access for maintenance to the water edge. 

The proposed solution was to encroach into this setback, but carefully enough to still provide access and subtle enough to not create any negative visual impact from the body of water.

The wind on the Marlborough plains coming down from the distant hills to the north can be strong and relentless – and often at times when outdoor living is desirable. 

The outdoor living area, which made sense to be on the north side facing Spring Creek, had to be able to be sheltered from the prevailing winds.

From the outset, the goal was to achieve all the homeowners wanted, with as small an extension as possible. 

We didn’t want to waste money and materials on a huge extension to the house, but rather be rigorous in planning to create a carefully considered flexible space.

Because of the large differential in temperatures between summer and winter, the outdoor room was designed to act as a large shading canopy for the dining room in summer, and a sun trap for it in winter.

Decking that was taken up was re-used elsewhere while the bulk of the landscaping design consisted of planting more native species.

High spec glazing was used for the internal space extension, and the rest of the house also had its lighting updated to more energy efficient fittings throughout.

Credit list

Renovating architect
Interior designer
Modo Architects
Louvre system
Louvretec tilting and retractable roof louvres
Main flooring
Oak T&G
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner
Wayne Flynn & Dave Griffith
Ardex Butynol
Window/door joinery
APL suite

Designed by: Brendon Monk, Modo Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Simon Devitt

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