Brick Beauty

Brick Beauty add

This Raglan home celebrates humble materials. Centred on a generous rural block and surrounded by regenerating native bush, it is located just minutes from Raglan's legendary surf beaches, the township and local amenities.

The homes designer, Tane Cox of Red Architecture, says when he first visited the site, the now bush clad slopes were thick with tussock and dry brown grass after a very hot summer.

"The colours were really striking and reminded me of Huntly clay brick. They were in common use from the late 1940s to 1970s to build regular every day houses in the Waikato. The bricks are from its budget range and are quarried not far from here. The decision to use them wasn't driven by cost, rather their colour. And while the site is nicely planted up and established now, the earthy brown colour references how the site was originally. It works really well in the environment."

Tane specified the reverse side of the brick for the outer facing. This side is smoother, more uniform in texture and less speckled looking, as it lies against the conveyor belt during production.

The home is well orientated for sun and sheltered from the wind enabling it to be opened up fully to ventilate on hot days. Its design is tailored for an active young family who make the most of the Raglan lifestyle.

Owner Brett Wood says it felt like home as soon as they moved in.

"We still marvel at the fact we live in such a beautiful place. It feels like we live in a resort only better because it's designed perfectly for us. Every day I admire different aspects of the house - how well the spaces flow or simple things like clean looking lines. It's a difficult place to leave in the morning and a heart-warming place to come home to."

In New Zealand the preference for locally sourced products, local labour and skills is growing in popularity - because it is kinder on the environment and supports communities.

As an ADNZ member, your designer will have considerable knowledge in these areas and can advise you accordingly. Visit http://www.adnz.org.nz/ for more information and to find a designer.

Photography by Larnie Nicolson