Using commercial construction material injects drama into this new home

Tilt-slab construction and 3m-high floor-to-ceiling glass come together to shape a spectacular home, where the views and interiors jostle for attention

​​​​​​​Nestled at the rear of a sheltered valley architecture, building, estate, home, house, lake, landscape, mountain, natural landscape, nature, property, real estate, tree, villa, brown
​​​​​​​Nestled at the rear of a sheltered valley and enjoying great natural outlooks, this home by designers Marcus Freeman and Hayden Ball of Freeman Ball Developments is created mainly in tilt-panel concrete slabs and full height windows. The privacy wall behind the front yard barbecue and even the pool itself are built from the same preformed construction material.

The look and ambience of this dramatic home are greatly informed by its principal construction material. Tilt-panel shuttered concrete presents many advantages – from cost savings, to speed and safety of install.

However, while tilt-panel concrete has long been embraced commercially for the above reasons, it’s only on strong, simple designs that it really comes into its own domestically – as with this home designed by Marcus Freeman and Hayden Ball with interior design and kitchen by Kirsty Davis.

“The home is nestled back into a valley with a warm, protected microclimate that makes it an ideal environment for creating sunny outdoor areas and to take in sweeping natural views,” says Ball.

Tucked into the base of a hill at the rear of the site, the long, simply arranged home comprises a run of bedrooms and a large garage at the back. At the front, the home opens up a sprawling open-plan living, dining and entertaining space.

“Our brief was for a light-filled home constructed with permanent, preformed materials,” says Freeman.

“The wealth of natural light is provided by the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living area and also by a glassed hall linking the bedrooms at rear to the living spaces.”

​​​​​​​On this home, monumental slabs of concrete and apartment, architecture, building, ceiling, daylighting, design, estate, floor, flooring, furniture, glass, home, house, interior design, leisure, living room, property, real estate, room, table, wall, window, black
​​​​​​​On this home, monumental slabs of concrete and giant sheets of window glass translate into strong, simple light-filled spaces. Light from the floor-to-ceiling windows is mitigated by an automated blind and shade system hidden within the pelmet.

The designers’ choice of a commercial tilt-slab concrete structure naturally gives the home an industrial, strong aesthetic. To add warmth and soften the look of the solid concrete walls and floors, timber batten ceilings were introduced throughout. This widespread use of natural wood also provides acoustical dampening to offset the potentially echoey concrete slabs.

As well as sheer speed of installation, and having no concrete wasted, the choice of tilt-panel concrete slabs was also great for the installation of cosy, in-slab heating.

And while tilt-panel slabs were perfect for creating the soaring, minimalist living spaces, they also made for an ideal building material for the front yard pool – even if the terrain made things slightly tricky.

“Achieving the preformed concrete pool entailed building a platform for the crane,” says Ball. “Even the preplanning here needed close, careful consideration.”

​​​​​​​The home’s tilt slab concrete walls have a architecture, building, ceiling, concrete, design, floor, flooring, furniture, home, house, interior design, living room, lobby, property, real estate, room, table, tile, wall, gray
​​​​​​​The home’s tilt slab concrete walls have a decorative board-formed finish. The textured surface was created by concrete poured and set in timber formwork, the latter stripped away to reveal imprints of the original plankwork. The sunken lounge is a feature of the open-plan entertainer’s space and features an elongated gas fireplace and wool carpet. A David Trubridge pendant here – together with another matching lamp over the dining table – provides a design feature and local task lighting.

Interior designer Kirsty Davis says the large sunken lounge is a feature within the open-plan living area.

“This was achieved by dropping the fireplace into place, then designing panels around it for a seamless look,” she says.

“On the other side of the front-of-home entertaining zone, the generous kitchen is the hub of the large, open environment.”

Playing a similar, softening role to the wood battens, concealed lighting features throughout the home. For example, the corridor linking the bedrooms and living space includes a raised concrete floor panel, with a negative detail housing a warm strip light. Plus, strategic garden and outdoor lighting accentuates the dramatic façade.

This home has not one but two outdoor apartment, architecture, backyard, building, deck, design, estate, furniture, home, house, interior design, landscaping, leisure, mansion, patio, property, real estate, residential area, roof, room, swimming pool, vacation, villa, yard, gray
This home has not one but two outdoor entertaining spaces. The lower alfresco dining area is underlit to dramatic effect.

While the tilt-panel design sets the cool, luxury aesthetic, it’s the sheltered site that allows for serene outdoor entertaining.

“The mature trees on the site give the illusion this house has been here for years,” says Ball. “The home’s elevation provides for beautiful views of the land around it, while a preformed concrete tilt-slab fence provides privacy from the road.”

Credit list

House designer
Marcus Freeman and Hayden Ball, Freeman Ball Developments
Interior designer and kitchen designer
Kirsty Davis Kitchen Design
Landscape and pool
Freeman Ball Developments
Plumdek long run iron
Kitchen cabinetry
Dezignatek vinyl wrap gloss white
Caesarstone Raven and Marbello Quartz Spring Snow, from Shane Boyd
Kitchen and scullery sinks
Ikon Fluorine stainless steel; 1/2 Ikon Lithium
Oven, cooktop, refrigeration
Fisher & Paykel
Main flooring
Polished concrete
Escea, from Four Seasons
Feature furniture
Custom dining table designed by Kirsty Davis Kitchen Design; ICO traders stools; Cintesi dining chairs; custom coffee tables, designed by Freeman Ball Developments
Freeman Ball Developments
Kitchen manufacturer
Hagley Kitchens
Preformed tilt-panel, shuttered concrete
Window/door joinery
Hagley Aluminium
Cabinetry hardware
Blum Servo Drive and Servo Drive Flex; Legra Box in Terra Black
Scullery splashback
Black painted toughened glass
Heritage hardware
Wine fridge
Water dispenser
Sourced from Reptiles; pool tiles – custom design by Kirsty Davis Kitchen Design
Wall treatments
Tilt-panel shuttered concrete
In-slab Heating, by Litt Plumbing
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Winner

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Anthony Turnham Snap Photography

15 Dec, 2019

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