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Design Review: Volume 5, Issue 3 (July-August 1953)

A House in Napier

page 57

A House in Napier

Natusch & Sons: Architects

A House in Napier.

A House in Napier.

page 58

Having secured an excellent piece of land on the Wharerangi hills facing northward toward Napier and looking out over the sea, Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Bisson asked their architects to design a house for them which would make the most of the site, with its trees, its existing drive and the view. Their requirements were those of most New Zealand families, an easy, unhampered home life, closely related to the outdoors, a house adaptable for entertaining yet simple to maintain without domestic help, warm in winter and cool in summer—and, of course, built within a strict budget. And in this long, open-planned house with wide eaves shading its ample windows the architects have satisfied their clients’ wishes while making, in their straightforward and mature design, a valuable contributidn to our contemporary domestic architecture. Yet this house, before it was built, was refused an advance by a Government lending agency and was declared by some builders to be too ‘unconventional’ for them to take on. Perhaps the forthcoming Housing Conference will open their eyes to the need for a more enterprising outlook.


Waterproof concrete floor slab with asphalt tile or body carpet finish. Timber frame with studs and rafters at 3ft. centres. External lining in 8in. × 1in. tongued and grooved redwood laid vertically and left to weather. Roof in corrugated aluminium sheeting. Average ceiling height 8ft. 3in., slope of ceiling giving apparent increase in height to rooms while offering maximum sun and glare control at eaves.


Externally, natural redwood siding with white trim, blue eaves soffit and bright yellow entry door.

Living room has blue ceiling, grey walls and clear lacquered knotty pine boarding, rimu doors and fittings, ivory painted trim. Floor covered in rich red carpet or blue asphalt tile.


Sliding doors: Henderson Tracks from Odlin's Ltd., Napier. Windows: Top-hung Whitco fittings. Asphalt Tiles: J. A. Redpath & Sons Ltd. Sink Unit: Perspex by Wood Plastics

Ltd., Hastings. Fire surround: N.Z. Marble Co.

Photography by A. B. Hurst & Son, Napier.

page 59

Open hospitality at night, easy living by day, is suggested in these photographs. The living room's sloping ceiling, following the line of the roof, the contrast of natural and painted surfaces, the wide sliding window wall, all contribute to achieve greater character without loss of simplicity, informality within convention. Set close to the ground on its concrete slab floor, this house makes the transition from living space to outdoor terrace simple, inviting.