An art collector’s award-winning cliff-top home above Dunedin’s St Clair beach is a head-turner

Cliffs Road House by Bell Co and Saunders Architecture is a sculptural response to a client's request for a home to showcase his extensive art collection.

NICK BEADLE

Cliffs Road House by Bell Co and Saunders Architecture is a sculptural response to a client’s request for a home to showcase his extensive art collection.

A stunning new cliff-top house above St Clair beach in Dunedin, designed for an art collector, has caught the eye of the jury at the 2022 NZIA Southern Architecture Awards.

The house has a Norwegian connection – the concept was designed by Saunders Arkitektur, and developed and completed by Bell + Co Architecture in Dunedin.

Bell+Co says the client’s initial brief was for a “sculptural and engaging two-bedroom home, to accommodate his art collection and visiting adult daughters.”

The bedrooms open onto terraces on all levels to maximize sun and views.

NICK BEADLE

The bedrooms open onto terraces on all levels to maximize sun and views.

The sculptural form was a design response to the site: “The house curves and twists to capture views over Dunedin, the harbour, the peninsula, Saint Clair beach and out to the Southern Ocean.”

READ MORE:
* Sir Miles Warren: An architectural legacy that has stood the test of time
* ‘Hole-in-One’ house is winner of NZIA Western Architecture Awards
*High end holiday homes feature in the NZIA Waikato-Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards
* An 80m long multi-generational house places children at one end and grandparents at the other

A commanding entryway is defined by a doorknob commissioned for the house and created by artist Kate Newby. The entrance gallery, designed to give a taste of what is to come, creates a large space for displaying both art and architecture, with a swimming pool visible to one side and a grand staircase from the other.

The NZIA jury describes it thus: “The austere aluminum exterior, relentless in its formal expression, contains a revealing interior, suited to the visual spirit of the owner in an equally uncompromising way.

“Every choice of surface, color and material is deliberate, precise, surprising and inspiring.”

The design also offers many connections to the outdoors – there are several terraces which provide sheltered and sunny spots, depending on the time of day and wind conditions.

A wall of glass offers a view of the swimming pool right next to the entrance.

NICK BEADLE

A wall of glass offers a view of the swimming pool right next to the entrance.

The project also won a Resene Color Award, with judges saying the interior is a “mastery of color, with delightful and unexpected combinations throughout”.

“Colors are expressed three-dimensionally, wrapping from floors to walls and furniture in bold blocks. The palette changes with the variation in floor level. The result is bright, brave and perfectly launched.

Every aspect enhances the artistic aesthetic.

NICK BEADLE

Every aspect enhances the artistic aesthetic.

At night, the main works of art are illuminated, inside and out.

NICK BEADLE

At night, the main works of art are illuminated, inside and out.

STUFF / Connor Scott

From mountains to lakes and sea, here are the winners of the NZIA Southern Housing Award for 2022

Norma D. Ross