Design Review: Volume 4, Issue 6 (January-February 1953)
A House on Napier Hill
A House on Napier Hill
The Site: Falls away from the street with a 17 degree slope towards the N.W., commanding a broad view over trees of Westshore, the curve of the bay, and the distant Kaweka range.
The Problem: On limited funds, to provide accommodation for a young couple and one son, with possibility of extension; to provide maximum space for entertaining and children's play; to avoid the cramped-up feeling of a small house, and to take full advantage of sun and the view.
Construction: Concrete slab floor, 4in. × 2in. studs at 36in. crs. with vertical heart matai t & g weather-boards, oiled and stained burnt sienna. R.P.M. one-pitch roof on 7in. × 2in. rafters. Ceiling fixed to underside of rafters.
Result: The open planning gives a feeling of spaciousness unusual for a house of 880 sq. ft. The sun-room acting as children's place space, circulation space leading to all rooms, etc., works well and avoids narrow wasted passages. The ceiling, sloping from 9ft. 6in. to 7ft. 6in. to give average of 8ft. 6in. and projecting on N.W. side to form 3ft. 0in. eaves overhang, gives perfect sun-and glare-control. The large windows reaching to the floor allow the baby to play in the sun, and the big sliding sections make the terrace very much a part of the house. The concrete slab floor is beautifully warm, and very few fires have been necessary in winter.
Finance: The owner, a member of the staff of the Architects, on applying for a Rehabilitation load, was informed S.A.C. did not approve of: (1) style of planning, (2) materials, (3) construction, (4) site. And as no amount of reasoning could change that attitude, finance was readily obtained from a private Insurance Company—the blinkers of unbending rules and regulations seem to have prevented New Zealand's main, lending institution from seeing any merit in a house that does not conform to the 1936 State house pattern. Our national coat-of-arms once bore the motto Onward. It seems to have become rather blurred.
Cost: Contract price in December 1950 was £1950.
Colour Scheme: Living Room: Walls knotty pine and nut brown with beige panels outlined in deep red. Kitchen: Chinese yellow and raspberry red. Sun Room and Bed Room:: lilac. Bunk Room: Cambridge blue. Ceilings and Eaves Soffits: pale green throughout. Floor: Deep red throughout, Exterior: Burnt sienna with ivory trim.
Builders: R. G. and C. Alexander.page 128
Views are Numbered in Circles on Floor Plan