A house for five, and a one-car garage. It’s a home for the future…
The Grey Lynn house designed for his own family by Richard Naish of RTA Studio – a bold and striking building in its villaand-bungalow neighbourhood – is in the mainstream of current sustainable design practice. That is, Naish says, the house’s design incorporates sustainable principles “without making a song and dance about it.”
The House for Five – two parents and three young children – stretches along the front of an unusually generous section and in the rear wraps around a north-facing courtyard that looks out on large native trees that have somehow survived suburban development.
The house is long and thin. Narrow wings deployed in a horseshoeshaped plan allow for effective cross ventilation, and a screened ‘outdoor room’ at the north end of the main, west-facing form is wellsuited to the demands of Auckland’s sticky summers.
The house’s concrete slab provides thermal mass, and the house is sufficiently insulated that it requires a solitary heat pump.
Naish is an architect who is not afraid to design buildings which express his enjoyment of the possibilities of architecture. RTA’S Ironbank building on Karangahape Road, for example, is a bravura exercise in which grunty elements are softened by decorative touches.
He has taken a similar approach on his own house, echoing the Victorian fretwork of neighbourhood houses in the patterns of the façade screens. A winner in the residential architecture category in the 2011Auckland Architecture Awards, the House for Five, announced the judging panel, “is an interesting and creative addition to an existing character street”.