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3 Glass Cubed Volumes sheltered under Roof define Sustainable Home

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Located in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, the Dulieu residence by Studio MWA is a completely private home, located on the edge of the 100 year flood zone and surrounded by hills and bush land. With its desolate location, the architects where able to create a home that can be at one with its surrounding landscape by cladding nearly 70% of the exterior in glass. Aside from the impressive amount of glazings that maximize passive solar energy heating, the home also uses natural materials whenever possible as well as local resources and local manufacturers and trades people. There is also .a rainwater and spring water collection and an environmentally responsible sewer treatment

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When you step back and look at the site the Dulieu residence is on, it is not hard to understand why the architects chose to use so much glass. With the complete privacy the location offers and the amazing panoramic views of bush land, the owners are able to feel a complete connection to the landscape whether they are inside or out.

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The approach to the home is from approximately 7m above the site and the expanses of roof overtop of the glass cubes keep the home private from the above location.

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The geometric volumes of natural stone piercing or meeting the roofline, combined with the roof planes – both horizontally and vertically – create a dynamic play of positives and voids.

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The Dulieu residence has 3 double bedrooms and a studio, a Master suite with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, two additional bathrooms with a separate powder room that can be accessed by the disabled., 3 glass cubed living areas and a 3-car garage.

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The layout offers a separation between the living, dining and separate family living and kitchen area while the third lounge is close to the guest bedrooms. All rooms have access to the outside for that sought after indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

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The house is surrounded by a hardwood deck, which in turn is surrounded by a garden of native plants. There is also a few small lakes as well as pond areas with natural springs.

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The indoor-outdoor flow of each zone presents an openness and simplicity that are the main characteristics of the architects design and even though the deck offers the perfect place for outdoor dining and lounging, the cubes of glass have that same outdoor feel – but from the inside.

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A large stone fireplace punctuates the glass cube that holds the dining and living zones. A simple mantle above the fireplace creates a linear line that flows with the framework of the glazings.

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A second glass cube holds the family room and kitchen with the lounge area closest to the outside access.

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The kitchen is a combination of ebony dyed wood and stainless steel – which is used on the countertop as well as the appliances.

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Even the back of the island features stainless steel – and check out that awesome light fixture over the bar – so completely modern and minimalist it is barely noticeable but when you do notice it – wow.

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Continuing the flow of the ebony dyed wood is the pair of French doors leading to the hallway.

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The hall leads to the private zones, the offices and the entryway, but while the hall connects the various locations, it is also a gallery with select pieces of art featured on its walls.

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The hall also leads to the back of the house.

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Just in front of the foyer is the location of the offices and while hey have walls of glazings, these windows look into the hall with its wonderful art display.

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Guests have access to a powder room and this is one room where the glazings are covered with louvers for the privacy of those within.

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The bathrooms are outfitted with separate tub and shower areas as well as vessel sinks with wall mounted faucets.

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All in all the Dulieu residence is an easy to live in, low maintenance, luxury home at one with its surroundings. The owners are so impressed with their new abode they fondly call it “Paratiho” which means “paradise” in the Maori language.
Studio MWA
Photography by Studio MWA

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  • Justin Liddle

    Hi, I was wondering if it is possible to see the house plans of this 3 glass cubed house?
    Thanks