River House

Cantilevered planes and custom designed black cedar cladding reminiscent of the striated river banks gives this house a sophisticated flying aesthetic that fits into its city fringe location and elevated river bank environment.

The corten steel with its orange and brown patina is organic and changes like the River

The Kitchen and Bathroom joinery units are designed by the architects to bring the soaring, cantilevered aesthetic into the interior. The Kitchen is predominantly reflective black lacquer finish with white stone island bench top and custom designed base of reflective black lacquered battens that appear to be like water.

The Bathroom vanities are stained and sealed brown plywood with a black basalt stone feature wall complimenting the Main Ensuite.

The broad eaves with white soffit edged by a black aluminium fascia provides passive solar control to the North with weather protection. Wide timber decking on exposed concrete with cantilevered glass balustrades float in the tree canopy. Rough textured split faced concrete block for the exterior fireplace is a vertical counterpoint that towers into the sky against horizontal layering of the home.

Waikato Riverhouse was inspired by the Mighty Waikato River, its movement and flow revealing layers of silt, sand and gravel which are reflected in the variety of materials and the expressive form of the House. Blacksand honed concrete block creates a robust and durable base. Custom designed band sawn, black stained cedar cladding creates a horizontal layering effect above the block. The striated cedar cladding is reminiscent of a boulder that has been scoured by the river bed.


The Entry is defined by precast concrete blade walls that act as thermal heat sinks, staggered to create a dynamic effect. The concrete blades are connected by a mirror glass pivot entry door, reflective like water. Double glazing and additional insulation have been included for thermal comfort. As one enters the house, the expansive River views are framed by the walls and the continuous high ceilings that are the same height as the exterior soffit.


Graeme Parlane – Construct Ltd

Completed October 2008