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Lampen House

Auckland, Mahurangi West
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Some clients in Auckland approached me to design a new family home for them on a steep lifestyle block at Mahurangi West near Puhoi north of Auckland. The building site was a gently sloping ledge between the road and the edge of the steep bank with expansive north east views to the Pukapuka Inlet, Mahurangi Peninsular and Kawau Island beyond.

A large Totara tree had to be sacrificed (with a Resource Consent) to achieve north sunshine in winter and rather expensive stabilisation engineering was required along the bank edge. Even with some site excavation to provide a flat platform for the large garage, deep foundations were specified by the engineers to address the soft surface soils. I specified 40mm XPS insulation around the entire perimeter foundation wall, as well as 50mm EPS foam under the whole slab floor - which was left exposed and finished for soaking up winter solar gain. To save costs a 2.7m ceiling height with a trussed roof was designed for the main living space with 2.4m ceilings elsewhere. Another space saving feature is the lack of passage ways within the home, even the front Entry passage doubled as the laundry room. The house and garage were to have PV solar panels on the roof for their off grid power system; the garage roof with loft space being steep enough for the main panels, but not the house roof. So I designed a feature that I had developed for the Solabode roof which enables a few PV panels to be pitched at a steep angle but remain hidden within a trough feature which has free drainage under a trellis type screen on the back. The council consent officer caused me so much grief to prove the feature watertight that the clients agreed to delete it from the final design.

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