Glendowie House / Bossley Architects

  • 11 Sep 2013
  • Featured Houses Selected Works
© Simon Devitt

Architects: Bossley Architects
Location: Glendowie, Auckland,
Architect In Charge: Pete Bossley, Andrea Bell, Don McKenzie, Karen Ngan Kee
Main Contractor: Timbertech Construction
Structural Engineer: Brown and Thomson
Year: 2007
Photographs: Simon Devitt

© Simon Devitt

From the architect. The form of this house has been determined by the constraints of the site. The house is sited in Glendowie between a natural edge created by the steep bush clad cliff that rolls down to Karaka Bay and the sinuous road that the house fronts onto. The kink in the road outside the house is reflected in the boundary and the front yard setback line for the house. In order to maximise the site the house has been built right up to this front yard setback line and also reinforces the kink.

© Simon Devitt

A dark stained veil of variegated cedar wraps and protects the front of the house from the busy road that it fronts onto. The screen also performs the function of masking the stepped form of the building on the southern elevation, which is the result of the height to boundary constraints.

© Simon Devitt

Two cut-outs or recesses in this kinked frontage allow entry into the building. One recess is for the garage door and other is for the front entry which is tucked away hidden from view behind the screen to allow privacy but also to shelter the entry from the south westerly wind.

© Simon Devitt

Frosted glass provides privacy at the front of the house but still allows western light to penetrate through the building. The shadow of the timber screens frayed edges through the frosted glass provides a beautiful silhouette with the afternoon light.

© Simon Devitt

An open riser timber and steel stair winds up through a triple height space from the garage level to the main living level and then on up to another two levels. Your view of the stair is filtered through layers of a stainless steel mesh screen hanging from the ceiling between the stairs and a dark stained timber screen.

The lower living level opens out onto a honed concrete terrace area with views of Browns Island and Karaka Bay.

East Elevation
Cite: "Glendowie House / Bossley Architects" 11 Sep 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Croco Dile

    In my opinion this facade is diminishing an otherwise good building. What is the purpose of it ?

    • Eric in Colorado

      The article says the house is pushed as close as possible to the road. Likely the client wanted SOME privacy, and screening from those horrible power lines. Also, have you never heard of “personal taste”?

    • Joshua Reitz

      Agree. The facade looks like a transportation building or something by Morphosis. Too many competing ideas going on out front. Grey couch is nice.

  • reviewer

    ..first comment here to be honest but for this poor example of so called “contemporary” architecture i have to leave my note.
    care about sustainability (no i am not an eco freak) or create at least some exciting sense of space…why has this been published?

  • Eric in Colorado


  • Gordon Anderson

    Wonderful, love the facade, some real creativity here