This hillside in the Bombays may have proved too difficult for some to build on, but for the busy professional couple that were involved in the design process alongside David Reid Homes Pukekohe, it is heaven on earth.
With its rustic board-and-batten cladding and rural setting, where five sheep, two pigs, two chickens and the cat-that-got-the-cream roam, it's a surprise to find how sleek and minimal this home in the Bombay Hills is on the inside. Somehow comforting too.
The homeowners say they instantly fell in love with the 4600-square-metre site. Tūī and whispering gumtrees welcomed them at the gate and, once they made their way halfway along the hill, hawks circling the valley below evoked a wild and magical feeling. However, the site was steep, all of it. When the house company that sold them the land started to appear out of their depth they switched to David Reid Homes Pukekohe. Coming to a solution that would give them a building platform without leaving their financials in tatters involved persuading the homeowners to go from a two-storey home to a single-level design.
The first glimpse of the house gives an understanding of the challenge they faced. A four-metre graduated retaining wall circles dwelling and driveway, and sets the stage for the main event. However, simplicity reigns once you enter the home. The concrete anchors the rear of a linear footprint that comprises a centralised living zone that separates two bedroom wings - one for the homeowners and one for guests. It's contemporary, calm and exquisitely decked out. The kitchen is pared back, yet luxurious, with a wall of glossy white cabinetry with no handles being the backdrop to the dark-stained island which is topped in Iranian onyx and lit from below so that it seems to float in space. Adjacent to this, the bar is the epitome of glamour with suspended brass shelving, oblique brass detailing in the cabinetry and brass Lee Broom pendants all reflected in that smokey glass mirror. Cocktail hour never felt so 007.
Intimate moments such as these are woven into many aspects of the design - which may be minimal but still embraces humanity. With floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the great outdoors as hero, there are many places to appreciate the landscape. Nine-metre wide sliding doors lead out to a deck that becomes a bridge on an ocean of green. The homeowners say they wake up and see the view from the hill, with the sky ever changing and it makes them appreciate the beauty of the house itself and the way the land wraps around to hold us.