Valley Deep

Keshaw McArthur inserts a recessive intervention into a villa with valley views.

Valley Deep

Keshaw McArthur inserts a recessive intervention into a villa with valley views.

Katrina Keshaw The site is unique – it looks over a lush valley, with 180-degree views from some of the living areas. So we were really interested in how we could make dynamic relationships between outside and inside.


Xuan McArthur Nguyen It was interesting to understand how we could layer up experiences. Working with the existing footprint, we took off a 1990s addition and started again. 


KK We wanted to complement the villa style and initially looked at more contemporary approaches, but they just didn’t feel right. 


XMN We looked at the order around columns and ridge forms, apexes and datums, and explored a more refined version. When we pulled that together with the existing villa, something interesting started to happen.


KK It’s quite recessive – we wanted something to layer with the lush greens, and the scoria and the basalt of the area. 


XMN The entry is still very traditional, and then at the end of the hallway you’re presented with the grey plastered wall – the first cue that there’s an intervention happening. Once you turn left, that’s where the addition starts. 


KK We wanted to complement the feeling of airy spaces in a more contemporary way, so we used materials with texture, and considered how the light might subtly change during the day.


XMN We’re always trying for a refined spin – we often pull away from the idea of feature elements to create a balance that works through all the spaces.


KK We minimised the detailing as much as possible, so it becomes a calm backdrop to your life. The appliances and products didn’t dominate – and the Fisher & Paykel selections worked seamlessly with this approach, with some things integrated and others expressed in a pared-back way. Their recessive look meant we were able to integrate them into things like the custom hanging shelf.


XMN The kitchen became less and less conventional – there was always going to be a scullery and eventually those boundaries began to dissolve. Conceptually it’s almost like one big block of stone pulled apart, with the oak providing a warm backdrop. The Fisher & Paykel products meant we were able create a free-flowing kitchen. 


KK The owners didn’t want to be tucked away and we’ve pulled a social element into the kitchen. The children might do their homework on the island or at the built-in desk, or you could look up recipes – or just sit and chat.

This story was produced in association with Fisher & Paykel.

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