John Mills Architects

Mills Home

Winner: NZIA Resene Local Architecture Award 2003 (Residential)
Winner: NZIA Resene New Zealand Award 2003 (Residential)
Winner: NZIA Resene Colour Award 2003 (Residential)

The Judges remarked “Juxtaposed against a cliff on a narrow site facing the harbour, this house eschews any of the normal formal concerns – the entry is hidden and just part of a journey that flips from private to public without modesty. This is a highly personal home for the architect and his family. Space is at a premium so boundaries are blurred rather than articulated, whilst every surface shows the mark of its makers – kids drawings adorn sandblasted glass and the ceiling has been set alight for effect. This home has the sense of both theatre and campsite – and provides a fitting backdrop for its family”

“Every centimetre counts in this home with a lack of flat land and a cliff to contend with limiting the scope for horizontal extension. The harbour view is drawn into the house to enlarge living areas and de-emphasise the site limitations. Surprisingly, while the home is perched on the roadside, passing traffic goes by unnoticed.

Broken into three floors, the children occupy the lower floor, topped by family living and the master bedroom with a breakaway top floor designed as the adult and guest retreat. This vertical separation provides the eight family members with much-needed breathing space and also allows a getaway for the adults.

JMA homes are associated with strong use of colour and this home is no exception to the rule. Colours ranging from oranges and pinky-reds to bright green, create contrasting moods in different areas providing visual breaks in the predominantly open plan layout. Sun and sea, space and style, this home combines the best of them all.”

This home is designed to maximize light, sun and views across the bay while creating spaces that are flexible to accommodate versatile family needs. The organic concrete structure opens out onto decks at multiple levels, providing opportunities for outdoor living whatever the weather. The house – highly personal for the architect and his family – is filled with touches of individualism and craftsmanship that identify it as unique and extraordinary.

Space is at a premium, so boundaries are blurred rather then articulated, whilst every surface shows the mark of its makers – kids drawings adorn sandblasted glass and some ceiling panels have been set alight for effect. Organisationally, this home allows for both shared collective space and quiet moments of individual privacy and contemplation.

This home has both the sense of theatre (in terms of its drama and distinctive use of colour and texture) and campsite.