John Mills Architects

Tui Home

Winner: NZIA Resene Local Architecture Award 2013 (Residential)
Winner: NZIA Resene Local Colour Award 2013 (Residential)
Winner: Registered Master Builders House of the Year 2013
Winner: Resene Colour Award – Resene Interior Colour Maestro 2014

Judges commented, “Inspired by the flight of the tui, this house hovers over its site enabling its owners to scan for visual treats in the distance or to perch in a window seat to drink in the sun. The tui is never far from one’s thoughts in this house, whether it is as a pair flitting past one of several well-positioned decks or, as one looks up at the floating ‘Pacific fly’ roof overhead which are coloured to suggest the subtle green tones of bird’s feathers. The house is warm and visually rich, a perfect respite from all that happens in the busy city below.”

“A key factor in the success of this project is the colour scheme that firstly connects the house to the site and secondly creates a rich internal environment. The creative use of colour helps make this a wonderful place to live.”

Wellington sites like this are a delight to discover and work with. The clients had lived in a state house for many years before deciding their future home needed to be warmer, lighter and more inspiring. With a brief that required natural materials and strong energy efficiency, they added the desire to make their home a sculptural element suspended in the bush-scape, to embrace and frame the outstanding views and a killer kitchen. We were chosen from a shortlist of architects for having a warm, contemporary and colourful aesthetic, with subtle detailing, generous use of timbers and a relaxed but evolved feel.
The concept design was inspired by the aerial dance of the tui that abound on this site perched on the edge of the town belt. The ceiling, with its composition of six different colour stained plywood panels, represents the incandescent colour one experiences as a tui dives past you in full flight. This sense of movement is echoed in the floating “Pacific Fly” roof. It starts true and square to the north and west and dips and twists to the south and east, reflecting the flight of the Tui.

From the untreated flooring, other timber and decking, to the solar water heating, wool batts, the clients embraced the chance to make an enduring and evocative home. They were keen to explore how open we could make their living level. Contrasting with this notion are the cozy window boxes to perch in while reading in the afternoon sun. Downstairs provides accommodation for the frequent guests that come for a few days and end up staying for weeks, captured by the peaceful, inspiring and sunny location.

Without the obligatory garage, we were able to complete a beautiful finished home at one with the bush. Warm, light and expressive, part nature, part pavilion, it is loved by the owners who one day want to experience it just for themselves.

Publicated in:
Resene Flight Path
Stuff House of the Week
Architecture Now
Dominion Post
Registered Master Builders