Home of the year

What it was like to design New Zealand’s Best Small Home

Article by Home Magazine

Monastic yet welcoming, this small home shows the power of contained design. We speak to architect and owner, Braden Harford, about his award-winning home

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Q&A with Braden Harford of Maguire and Harford Architects

What were the main considerations in designing your own home?
I tried to imagine how I wanted to live in the house – what would it be like sitting on the sofa, or what am I looking at standing behind the kitchen bench? – then designing these moments.

Talk us through the approach to energy efficiency and design?
I enjoyed how the strategies I used for insulation and solar gain also added a layer of meaning and reason to the design, while being expressed aesthetically though details like the window placement and deep reveals.

What do you enjoy most about the home?
Waking up to birdsong and the sun coming across the valley through the windows. Then seeing the walls blending into the shadows outside when the sun sets and the orange lights of the city are turned on.

Apart from scale, how did you keep building costs within budget?
There was real consideration for what was important. All spaces were reduced in size to find what was workable. Construction and form were kept as simple as possible. Everything had a reason – there’s nothing superfluous.

Words by: Matt Philp. Photography by: David Straight.

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