House of angles

House of angles add

To be living in a finished home is a great achievement for ADNZ Member Ben Gilpin, on completion of his second own home design project.

Clad in silvered off cedar and Corten steel, light and shadows that fall from the 15° angled walls define the home as far from ordinary. The tilted walls declare nonconformity and a hint of defiance.

And that's what Ben and his partner set out to achieve from the outset.

'We were starting with unlimited options and when you are designing your own home that's a privilege you don’t always have. But there's also a bit of pressure - to create something striking and unique, which is outside the box and far from a standard house,' Ben says.

The basic form of the home comprises angled cedar-clad boxed pavilions connected by flat roofs clad with laser cut Corten steel at the top of a sloping site in Raumati South, Kapiti Coast.

'I like the natural warmth that comes from the cedar and the contrast of the Corten steel gives it an edgy look. We've also included battens between the sheets and wedge shapes to really emphasise the angles.'

Ben explains the family won't be moving for a while yet and they wanted to provide some separation of kid's and adult's spaces. The rear pavilion is the kid's domain, with three bedrooms and a shared breakout space opening out onto a generous back yard. The front pavilion enjoys all day sun and contains the master bedroom, kitchen, two living and entrance areas which front onto the sloping site.

'A requirement we both had was that we didn't want the home's entrance to be dominated by the garage. And because the site is tapered, there were some design challenges in tucking the garage to the back,' Ben explains.

Maintaining cohesiveness throughout the house and between internal and external spaces was a design priority for Ben.

'There are two big corners which completely open up to the outside and there is a covered outside area with skylights and a gas fireplace which keeps us comfortable outside, well into the evening.

'There are huge amounts of glass in the building as well - which also provides great connection between interior and exterior spaces.'

Vertical batten screens and a complementary colour palette follow through into the interior of the home which includes American white oak and contrasting white and dark feature walls. Inbuilt furniture combines thoughtful design with practicality - a luxury that Ben admits the couple 'went a little crazy on', but was a worthwhile indulgence.

Having lived in the home for three years now, Ben says what pleases the family most is that it is finally finished.

'I think anyone working in the industry will appreciate that,' laughs Ben. 'The fact that it is actually a finished home and we can enjoy all the hard work that we have put into it is really something.'

Visit to see more of Ben’s work and Gil-plans Architecture's award winning designs.