It was a bold decision when Karl Barker, graduate of the Unitec School of Architecture, accepted the brief to design this Kerikeri home. His clients were his parents, Graham and Lynn Barker. Graham and Lynn had some very specific ideas and as Graham is, by profession, an engineer some interesting discussions took place on "how to." The result is a stunning home which unashamedly celebrates the clever use of the steel structural components which have been used as design features.
Both client and designer had carefully considered every aspect of how their new home should accommodate their existing and future lifestyles. From the exterior which includes purpose built boat housing for Graham's pride and joy, to the open plan living spaces to accommodate family and friends, every detail and its function has been considered. Both Graham and Lynn have busy lifestyles running their engineering business which extends to the "home office". Family time and the interaction between the various spaces was of extreme importance.
Privacy and street appeal were considerations as the home was situated on a relatively new subdivision and surrounded by homes of a more conventional design style. Extensive use has been made of Custom Orb made from .55 gauge ZINCALUME® steel and shadowclad plywood cladding painted in a custom Resene paint.
The shadowclad is treated as the sheet product that it is while the ZINCALUME® steel is used to wrap around various expressive elements of the building. The combination of horizontal and vertical texture is used to good effect adding interest to the design which features a variety of roof planes. The design of the roof was of particular importance to Karl Barker who was mindful of the sunlight effects and efficiencies of this passive, environmental design. Particular attention was given to the large 1200mm eaves on the second story. These provided shade during summer hours yet allowed the sun, during the winter months, to penetrate to the heat sink of the concrete floor below. The height of the home gives a sense of grandure from the interior living spaces to the entry and rear of the home. To accommodate the 1200mm eave the design moves away from the conventional timber frame which would have given a heavy appearance to the roofline. To achieve the slender more elegant appearance a steel detail was devised allowing a final eave thickness of 100mm. The steel supports to the roof have been left exposed adding to the exterior aesthetic appeal. The steel structure combined with the continuous span roof made from TRIMLINE in .55 gauge ZINCALUME® steel allows large uninterrupted interior spaces and sheds water well away from the exterior service and entertainment areas. The use of corrugate has been used to excellent effect and continues under the reversed plane of the boat enclosure.
To reduce the height appearance of the structure many of the exterior walls are dissected by the roof planes. This expression of elements continues to the flashings. Rather than try to hide them they have been used to bring an adjustment of scale to the house. By installing the flashing between the plywood sheet cladding at 2950mm above the slab level, it adjusts the perspective. The implication of the flashing is that it would be at floor level, this design feature makes the lower floor seem taller and the upper floor lower thus reducing the perception of overall height.
The interior of the home has a ultra modern spatial quality. The house design is comprised of a series of well defined open spaces which flow together to fulfil the Barkers life style. The kitchen opens to the lounge area which is adjoined to the outdoor entertainment area. The office above has an open vista into the lounge allowing interaction between the two. One wing of the house provides all the spaces that the Barkers require for their day to day lives while the second wing acts as more of a guest wing.
Graham and Lynn Barker are extremely happy with the result achieved which must be the ultimate test of design. A result Construkt take pride in achieving for all of their clients.
Karl Barker is an architectural graduate from the Unitec School of Architecture and has been working under the tutelage and mentorship of Construkt Architects.
Construkt Architects Ltd, based in Auckland New Zealand, offer urban design and architectural services. Their work spans through civic and cultural projects to master planned communities and private residences - shaping space is their passion.
"We believe that great architecture and urban design requires active collaboration between the client and architect. We put ourselves "in our clients' shoes" to understand their aspirations and invite their participation in a design process that is made understandable and exciting.
We challenge assumptions and look for solutions beyond the obvious, keeping firmly in mind our clients need for their buildings to be on time and on budget."