There are several ways one can go about designing a house for a client and in this case the Glendowie House by Bossley Architects located in Auckland, New Zealand uses the constraints and details of the site to inform its character. The house is located on an interesting plot of land with a steep bush clad cliff to the back and a sinuous road in the front. The location also dictates a boundary and a front yard setback line that also had to be considered in the design constraints.

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Courtesy of Bossley Architects – Photography by Simon Devitt

To maximize the site the house was built right up to the front yard setback line. Surrounding the building are dark stained veils of variegated cedar that wraps and protects the house. This feature also preforms the function of masking the stepped from of the building on the southern elevation, which is the result of the height to boundary constraints.

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Courtesy of Bossley Architects

Hidden within and behind the screen are two cut-out’s or recesses that allow entry into the building and act as a garage door. The front entry is tucked away and hidden from view behind the screen to allow privacy but also to shelter the entry from the south westerly wind.

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Courtesy of Bossley Architects – Photography by Simon Devitt

The screens are placed in front of frosted glass panels that provide further privacy while allowing western light to penetrate through the building. The shadows of the timber screens create a beautiful silhouette from the afternoon light within the interior of the house.

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Courtesy of Bossley Architects – Photography by Simon Devitt

The other interesting and notable moment within the design is the open riser timber and steel stairs that wind their way up through the triple height space from the garage level to the main living level and then on up to the other two levels. Continuing with the layered idea portrayed with the timber screen layered with frosted glass, the view of the stair is filtered through layers of a stainless steel mesh screen hanging from the ceiling between the stairs and a dark stained timber screen.

Courtesy of Bossley Architects – Photography by Simon Devitt

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