Regina Street

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  • 2022

  • Architectural

Designed By:

  • Tim Dorrington, Dorrington Atcheson Architects

Commissioned By:

Rina and George Crawford

Designed In:

New Zealand

A new-build on a relatively public site, with Coxs Bay park as their backyard and a public walkway on their boundary, ensured privacy was essential for this family home for five. The design provides privacy both within and without and delivers moments of whimsy alongside the essentials of modern living.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Located on the flat and bordering the park, the challenge was to create a private family home with plenty of outdoor living whilst maintaining privacy and separation from the street, the public walkway and the park. Carefully positioned blade walls and height considerations ensure privacy but in turn also provide pockets of fancy for the public view. Separation within the house provides separate zones for living, the master suite is upstairs and the kids' bedrooms, bathrooms and living area is separate from the open-plan main living. A family snug/office/music room is also tucked behind the stairs alongside a powder room.

  • The street façade is a striking aspect of black-stained timber screens at various heights, these incorporate the garage door and a curved screen, shielding a bedroom from the street. From the entry, a frameless plate glass wall, the house seamlessly opens up to the open-plan living in one direction and the kids’ bedrooms, playroom and family snug in the other. Stairs to the master suite provide an attractive visual backdrop and light from upstairs spills down, lighting the gallery. The kitchen, dining and living room opens seamlessly to the backyard and pool via sliders and borrows the park view beyond.

  • Passive design strategies are incorporated so the house performs through all seasons, passive solar gain reducing the need for much additional heating. High level clerestory windows that can be opened run the length of the southern side of the kitchen/dining space increasing airflow. The large open-plan living kitchen and dining space is heated by the thermal mass of the timber floor and cooled by opening doors and cross ventilation of windows. The design incorporates a lot of green spaces - these pocket gardens are seen from throughout the house and provide a sense of calm for the occupants and the passerby.

  • The planting throughout the project engages with and entwines the house. The entry courtyards with pocket gardens and round stepping stones lead you from the street to the front door, where the stepping stones transition to concrete platforms under cover of a wide timber eave. Black cedar screening is used extensively throughout the house, both as external cladding but also features internally in the entry, kitchen, dining and lounge areas. The black brick boundary wall is also replicated inside the house, providing the rear wall of the living room and in turn mimics the curved screen out front, curving out to the public walkway. The green view is framed beautifully upon entering the front door and visible from the length of the gallery. Cabinetry has been used extensively and goes hand in hand with the building itself, cabinetry panels become walls and hidden doors, while shelving define walls. Timber features inside as the ceiling of the entry gallery and as shelves and touches of brass throughout complements this warmth in striking contrast to the predominant black finishing. Covered outdoor spaces allow for doors to remain open even in bad weather and provide necessary shaded relief from the sun.