Home of the year

How clever urban design is celebrated through Home of the Year

Article by Home Magazine

Home of the Year 2019 is Altherm Window Systems’ 10th year as principal sponsor. To celebrate, we’ve collected some architectural highlights from their decade of extraordinary commitment

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How clever urban design is celebrated through Home of the Year

Thanks to intense population growth in our biggest centres and a history of poor planning, Auckland and Wellington – along with Queenstown and Christchurch, for different reasons – are facing a new wave of pressures and challenges.

In recent years, Home of the Year has recognised this with awards for City and Multi-Unit categories, in which architects often deal with complex planning and thinking. On tight city sites overlooked by neighbours, windows and doors become even more important – getting light and ventilation into homes is vital, but paradoxically that much more difficult.

Altherm is well used to partnering with architects in such contexts, and is known for going that little bit further in the pursuit of excellence.

The brand’s suite of ranges – including Metro Series and APL Architectural Series – provide a high level of customisation and technical precision to suit even the most demanding of urban contexts.

E-Type House

RTA Studio | Grey Lynn, Auckland | Home of the Year 2015

Richard Naish’s home was his second finalist in Home of the Year – his previous was in 2011. In many ways, the winning ‘E-type’ design was a reaction to slavishly open-plan living. Where his former home had wide-open spaces, this one took a compartmentalised approach. Naish designed in an ‘E’ shape around courtyards, with places for family to retreat and come together. The home’s three pavilions climb up a slope and maximise the northerly aspect.

Contemporary, but sympathetic to the neighbourhood, the home is very private. Roof pitches mimic surrounding villas, while ‘garden rooms’ spill out to north-facing courtyards through generous sliding glass doors. Angled toplight Metro Series windows pull light deep into the plan, and large sliding doors blur distinctions between garden rooms and courtyards.

Range: Metro Series.

Zavos Corner

Parsonson Architects | Mt Victoria, Wellington | Best Multi-Unit 2016

A brilliant response to a challenging brief on a small site, Parsonson designed eight apartments on a 568-square-metre piece of land. Urban and urbane, it doesn’t disrupt the surrounding suburban nature, thanks to pitched roofs and a design that breaks down the building’s mass into smaller modules. Arranged around an open north-facing courtyard, each apartment connects to the street and courtyard. Connections between indoors and out are seamless, and highlighted with projections – window seats, bay windows, whole walls of glass – which simultaneously provide views, light and privacy.

Range: Metro Series.

Narrow Neck House

Mitchell Stout Architects | Narrow Neck, Auckland | Finalist 2010

The late David Mitchell designed and renovated several houses for himself, but this house – designed with partner Julie Stout – sought to question the nature of suburban occupation. Around a pond and garden, the pair designed two apartments and a studio, each with private living areas. Carefully positioned openings are shielded from the street by wing-like roofs, and a roof terrace takes in views. Elegantly placed windows provide relief from concrete walls.

Ranges: APL Architectural Series & Commercial Series.


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