Bob Burnett Architecture Showhome, 6 Runswick Lane
A new home near the top of the Broad Oaks subdivision on the port hills in Christchurch has been designed as a showhome to showcase innovative sustainable design ideas and new materials and products by Architectural couple Bob Burnett and Shizuka Yasui.
A design with Super Energy Efficiency that is as easy on the environment as possible have been key considerations in this home and some of these ideas can by incorporated very cost effectively. With high thermal mass and super-insulation, new materials and techniques and energy efficient design details have been incorporated to help make the house comfortable year round. Lower floor and main floor are concrete floors with water underfloor heating. Upper floor is wooden. On the lower level ceilings are exposed concrete. This maximises the heating advantage with heat coming from the ceiling and the floor and also the look of the concrete ceilings add an interesting aesthetic. Glass is Low E double glazing which is more thermally efficient than standard double glazing. The 2m wide cantilevered concrete balcony above provides the lower level protection from over heating in summer.
“ With this project we wanted to create a unique building that would fulfill our own specific requirements and also demonstrate what can be done to take best advantage of the hill site,” says Shizuka. As both clients and designers Bob and I had the freedom to explore design ideas for ourselves, where normally we would be designing to fit our clients own taste preferences and requirements. We wanted to create a relaxed, homely feel and combine the best elements of Japanese and Kiwi design. The use of natural materials and earthy colours, highly detailed design and very efficient use of space are key elements of good Japanese homes. One aim was also to make it timesless so that it is unlikely to date and the use of natural materials helped. The Kiwi aspect includes fitting with the site and environment, comfortable open plan living areas and connection with the outdoors. The site demanded that the house be positioned to take best advantage of the views and sun.
The top floor houses the design office of the couples practice Bob Burnett Architecture. The firm specialises in new hill homes and alterations, with a focus on eco design, passive solar, and energy efficiency. Bob is a professional member of ADNZ and has 22 years experience in Architectural Design. Shizuka Yasui has worked as an Architect in Japan for 4 years before coming to NZ in 1999 andjoining the firm in 2000. She is a Japan Registered Architect Level 1. In Japan Level one Architects can design all types of buildings and do more complex work than levels two and three.
“There are lots of ideas packed into this house”, says Bob. It is a showhome and we knew we would be showing it to our clients and others.
Although this house has three main floors it is actually built on six levels. Partly this is because of the sloping hill site; partly it expresses Japanese design ideas. For example the “Genkan” entrance foyer is stepped down from the main living area. This defines the space, while the step also serves as a seat while taking off or putting on shoes. The Genkan area is tiled while the main floor area is tongue and groove bamboo flooring which looks similar to maple but is more hard wearing and as it only takes 3-5 years to grow it is very eco friendly. Designing to a budget is a big factor in every job. Care must be taken in selecting materials in the right quantities to achieve affordability and also a harmonious look. In this particular house a combination of materials were used to create an interesting and balanced form. We have combined natural materials in a harmonious way to achieve the desired look, using more costly materials sparingly as a feature. It uses mainly stone, timber, concrete and glass and James Hardie Axon Panel.