Black Door House, Richmond Hill, Sumner, Christchurch, NZ Featured

Project Info

  • Title: Black Door House
  • Location: Richmond Hill, Sumner, Christchurch, NZ
  • Firm: MCAS
  • Type: Residential
  • Status: Built
  • Year: 2013

Entrenched into the natural contours of the hills, sitting high and looking out over the ocean the house is a bold sculpture that balances the articulate features, linear proportions and soft curves to become an architectural art piece. 

The hierarchy of volumes creates a captivating built form that is angled and shaped to enhance the environmental elements, the sunlight and the ocean view.

To celebrate the entrance to the house the three volumes of the curved wall, linear entrance door and horizontal garage are positioned to create a dynamic composition of soft, vertical and solid that engages and invites. The warm cedar materiality softens and relates each element. The entrance door’s striking height and formation creates an appealing and interesting art form in itself.

The house from the street is again seen as three compelling volumes. The scale and height of the middle form gives prominence with its strong, dominant yet articulated winged roof that contrasts with the lightness of the floor to ceiling glazing. The plywood soffits and void lightens the form of the roof while the exposed steel grounds the volume and is revealed both on exterior and within the interior. 

The exterior form performs with the interior to create an energetic flow. With the variations in ground levels, the curved vs. linear elements and the deviation of ceiling heights there continues to be a sense of surprise and points of interest while moving through the house.  The mezzanine provides a space to look out over the hills while the corner glazing opens out to the courtyard deck and blurs the line between interior and exterior.

The structure of the walls and roof provides a sound thermal envelope with the use of structurally insulated panels. This creates a healthy, warm and energy efficient living environment.