A thoughtful response to a challenging site

An aptly named project titled ‘urbans fault’ took out the 2020 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Award for the Residential New Home between 150m2 and 300m2 category.

Designed by James Mackie of Mackit Architecture, Urbans Fault was created in response to a tricky corner site bordering a busy motorway and in close proximity to the Wellington Fault line. The design focused on mitigating the lack of privacy and achieving a high earthquake rating.

With the northern aspect of the home facing a busy intersection, optimising privacy was a top priority. Stepped block walls were used around the perimeter to create privacy without overly fortifying the site while also carving out a precious outdoor living space.

To meet the brief for a high earthquake rating, a bespoke suspended foundation system was implemented. Designed to withstand a 1 in 2,500 year seismic event (the same as Te Papa!), Prolam timber piles were concreted into deep footings and bolted to connecting Prolam bearings effectively creating a floating form which also provides accessible crawl space to allow for any future maintenance and repair work.

Through careful planning and meticulous attention to detail, James has expertly navigated the challenges this site faced to create a comfortable, private, and inviting home for his clients to enjoy.

Photography by Andre Vroon