The park-like grounds of Martinborough Estate – a stone’s throw from the golf course – offered the tranquil setting our clients were looking for to create their forever home. As dual residents of both Wellington and the Wairarapa, the home need to work for them now, and for their long term plans to retire on the sunnier side of the Remutakas.

After a thoroughly detailed design process, and closely monitored construction observation phase, the resulting home is the perfect balance of privacy and intrigue, permanence and flexibility. On approach, the low slung facade spans across the site, an understated grey box on which the timber clad master wing lightly rests and slopes up to the west. Through its elevated timber foundation, one can catch glimpses through to the pool and outdoor area.

The eastern wing of the front elevation cleverly conceals the double garage, with the driveway cutting through the centre of the grey box, and offering another peek at the rest of the dwelling. Vehicles can then access the garage door from the rear, leaving the front of the house uninterrupted. Clad in a combination of oiled raw larch and Resene Rockcote Cerano plaster, this house settles elegantly into the park like surrounds.

The master wing is complemented by an office that can double as a guest room (complete with a hidden pull down bed), adding flexibility to the home. Opposite this, a two bedroom guest wing provides generous space for family and friends to stay, but can be shut off the rest of the time.

Joining the two wings is the communal space – the timber lined entrance and hallway leads to the expansive open plan kitchen and dining room. The ply linings continue on the ceiling, intersected by a custom designed joinery unit. On the other side of the partly open joinery unit, is a living room that manages to feel both generous and cosy. The three habitable wings are orientated in a U shape around a partly covered outdoor area, that extends out to the custom designed pool and spa area. This home was completed in late 2023.  More photos to come as the landscaping evolves, and the clients settle into their new space.

“We worked with James in the design and building of our new home in Martinborough.  James listened carefully to our requirements and came up with innovative solutions and creative designs. James’ attention to detail is second to none and his broad knowledge of so many aspects of the building process is impressive. His willingness to go the extra mile was very much appreciated. We very much valued James’ input throughout the building of our home, not just the design phase. 

James is a person of the highest integrity and has excellent relationships with many members of the building trade in the Wairarapa and beyond. We would not hesitate to recommend James to anyone in need of architectural design work or considering building a new home.”

– Paul & Phillippa Harford