Taking the long view

When the homeowners first viewed this property, an abandoned petrol station, they saw the potential for a tranquil riverside home
Story by: Alison Wall
An exterior view of the patio area, concrete apartment, cottage, estate, home, house, property, real estate, villa, blue
An exterior view of the patio area, concrete slabs, pebbles, plants, windows and doors, cladding, roofing, outdoor furniture.

If you find a derelict property that needs a major overhaul to make it habitable, a walk round the site may quickly reveal any potential. That's especially true if the property is near attractive natural amenities, such as a river or native bush.

It's a rule of thumb that homeowners David and Deborah Bunyard would agree with. When they came across this property, a run-down former petrol station only metres from a major state highway, they saw beyond the potential site contamination and traffic noise.

What captured their imagination, says Deborah Bunyard, was the view of the river. Once they'd checked that the soil was safe to build on, the family decided to go ahead.

Much of the original building, including a large service court, was demolished and original stone from the walls salvaged for re-use. The architects, Mark McLeay and Glenn McHardie of Creative Arch, then designed a long, low building that runs parallel to the river. Sun streams into the home along its northern side, while extensive glazing along the southern elevation provides 180° views of the river just as the owners envisaged.


A view of a plan of the home. area, design, diagram, floor plan, line, plan, product design, square, white
A view of a plan of the home.

The entrance leads to a fully glazed indoor deck, with an aluminium louvred roof that can be opened to the sky, and an external deck overlooking the river. The west zone forms a self-contained space for guests, while to the east, the original building has been renovated to form the family living zone.

"We wanted to use contemporary lines and forms, and make the house as natural as possible so that it would sit into the landscape," says McLeay. "We chose to make the home one storey, with a low pitched roof, and used natural tones and colours."

Externally, the home features low-maintenance linear weatherboard, Exotech board and original Hinuera stone that the Bunyards wanted to retain as a reminder of the home's history. Double glazing, incorporating one layer of sound-proofed glass, and double layers of insulation, jib board and exterior cladding, have dampened traffic noise.

Any remaining noise has been disguised further by the sound of a waterfall at the front entrance. Internally, the only sign of the home's petrol station origins is the mechanics' pit in the living area, which has been converted into a wine cellar.

A view of the dining area, wooden deck canopy, estate, interior design, leisure, outdoor structure, property, real estate, roof, shade, swimming pool, vacation, window, gray
A view of the dining area, wooden deck flooring, large windows, louvres.

Interior decor was chosen by Deborah Bunyard. Red accents enliven a white, cream and black colour palette, and materials are low maintenance.

"I wanted a minimalist, open and fresh feel, with nothing detracting from the view," she says.

Feb 01, 2008

Credit list

Builder
Dave Stieller, Dave Bunyard
Kitchenette and laundry room manufacturer
Kitchen House
Roofing
Zincalume from Steel and Tube
Doors and windows
Ryan Aluminium
Tile flooring
Professional European Style and Design
Paints
Furniture
Freedom; Total Furniture; Big Save
Splashback
Metro Glass
Microwave
Panasonic
Shower fittings
Hansa
Hot water system
Infinity Rheem
Pergola
Kitchen designer
Thermotech
Cladding
James Hardie Exotec and Linear Board
Blinds
Cambridge Blinds
Door hardware
Wilson McIndoe
Flooring
Tiles – Portland; carpet – Carpet Court
Lighting
Lighting Plus
Kitchen benchtops
Granite, from Waikato Stonecraft
Oven and dishwasher
Baumatic
Bathroom vanity
Piko from Michel César
Shower enclosure
Tiles from Trentworth
Towel rails
Tranquility
Pool
Waikato Pool Builders
We know the specialists