Grand Design Back

If you’re seeking design inspiration for your next building project, then look no further. This beautiful house nestled on a ridge alongside the Hauraki Gulf is one of the most spectacular houses on the Hibiscus Coast. Attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and use of cutting edge technology have been brought together to create an outstanding example of modern NZ architecture.

The pièce de résistance are the floor to ceiling windows and doors which allow visitors to the home to see the views from practically every room in the house. Constructed by local builders Coastbuild New Zealand, this ‘house of glass’ is futuristic in its design inside and out, and boasts the very latest in technology and gadgetry.

Technology inspired design
Builder Tim Smith of Coastbuild NZ says, “The plans allowed for a home that would incorporate a mix of design and building techniques including marine, light commercial and high-end residential. Our client has a strong connection with the marine industry, and he wanted this to be reflected in the design of the home.”

Roof, wall and floor elements curve into and over each other to produce a house where functions fit into the resultant spaces from highly dynamic architecture. The curved shapes are clad in fibreglass on the exterior, using boat building techniques, with large expanses of glazing to capture the spectacular views.

As builder and project manager, it was Tim’s job to source suppliers and organise the various sub-contractors to construct the house. When it came to the biggest feature of the house, - the windows and doors - Tim asked three manufacturers to quote. He says, “Windowmakers won the job hands down. We had a great meeting with Heidi Johnston (Managing Director of Windowmakers) and her team. My client really liked their professional, organised and pragmatic approach. The fact that they use computer numerical control (CNC) technology, clinched the deal.”

In this particular project, the builder supplied us with templates cut out by CNC machines for us to use on the more intricate curved frameworks that were needed. It meant that these more complex parts were cut precisely and fitted exactly when it came to on-site installation,” says Heidi.

Creating the vision
Windowmakers worked closely with the architect and builder on the requirements for the project. The premium  FIRST® APL Architectural Series was specified. Designed with clean flush surfaces, continuous sightlines and square-edged forms, the series can be constructed to maximum sizes, ideal for the expansive window and door joinery needed for the house. Given the high wind levels that the property will experience along with the salty conditions of the coastal location, it was imperative that the windows and doors were robust enough to handle the external conditions. Frost Anodised aluminium, designed and manufactured for tough exposures, was the obvious choice. The anodising process gives a hard surface to the aluminium which does not peel, chip or flake and achieves good protection against sunlight, atmospheric corrosion and heat and moisture. Given the proximity of the house to the beach, Windowmakers recommended 25 Micron Frost Anodising which is the toughest that can be produced. The joinery has a durable and colour-fast surface finish and includes a 10 year warranty.

The architect specified the window hardware and chose to go with big bold handles and locks from the Icon range from APL Ltd which perfectly suits the audacious windows and doors. There’s nothing small about this property. The finish is masculine, yet beautiful and the detailing is second to none.

A view with a room
Tim concludes, “This house is a master class in design and building techniques. The bespoke intricate requirements specified in the plans could only be realised by using cutting edge technology. Windowmakers had all the necessary equipment to make sure the joinery complemented the structural design. Through teamwork, planning, technology and good communications we have built a truly outstanding, aesthetically beautiful house, ready for the owner to make it his home.”


Windows and Doors

The majority of the joinery was manufactured using FIRST® APL Architectural Series. A combination of both the 106mm and 158mm sections for the FIRST® APL Architectural Series units was used. The entry door was manufactured in 100mm shop front extrusion to achieve pivot function, with electronic Cobalt used as locking mechanism. The panel for entry door was a FIRST® Plasma core structure, clad in vertical timber weatherboards to blend seamlessly into the cladding system when closed. Curved window heads follow the roof line.

Joinery finish: 25 Micron Frost Anodised finish.

Glass: 6mm Comfortsave double glazed glass throughout.

Hardware: Icon Stainless Steel hardware with brushed finish.

Icon is a fully integrated range of stainless steel hardware designed with contemporary square-edge aesthetics with rectilinear shapes and gently radiused grips for comfortable operation. Icon hardware items are made from 316-grade stainless steel which offers increased weathering performance. The product range includes window fasteners, lever handles, sliding door handles and flush pulls, and a handle suitable for use on internal doors.

Architect: Ignite Architects Ltd
Builder: Coastbuild NZ Ltd
Joinery: Windowmakers Ltd