Be creative: scenes from another world
Amanda Aitken Ph.
Creative Space Architectural Design Ltd
“It will look great, that is the big reason we are doing it”: with these simple words the eclectic New Zealand investor Gareth Morgan announced to the press in January 2014 the makeover of his splendid mansion on Marina Parade in Mount Maunganui, a town in the Bay of Plenty on a peninsula to the north of the city of Tauranga, New Zealand, which he had purchased for 6 million dollars three years earlier. The residence reflects the larger-than-life personality of the investor – the author of five books on motorcycling adventures across five continents, the owner of New Zealand’s only professional football team, a UNICEF ambassador and promoter of countless humanitarian projects. Gareth Morgan commissioned Creative Space Architectural Design, winner of the American Best of Houzz award for home interior designers, to transform the building – which he famously compared to an ammunition case – into an extraordinary residence that combines an almost excessive sense of grandeur with a skilful and elegant design.
“Our primary goal was to create a fascinating and visually striking building through our longstanding philosophy of simplifying its design,” explained the architects. The building’s original design was complex and eclectic, lacking the symmetry and balance that it displays today. Moreover, the architects had to address the location’s high flooding risk, making it necessary to reinforce the structure to ensure that it would be virtually watertight. The Creative Space architects used the more than 1.5 million dollar budget to create a visually-striking project based on two key elements: the exterior cladding and the large perforated aluminium screens. The cladding consists of extra-thin ceramic panels from Laminam’s Blend Grigio collection, in which a speckled concrete pattern creates a solid/void visual effect. In spite of not having a rough texture, the surface of the panels does have a strongly material look. Along with the visual appearance, Blend also emulates the flexibility of use of concrete, a particularly important characteristic in a project like this. The Oxide Perla collection, also from Laminam, was chosen as the exterior cladding of the lower volumes and the containment walls of the swimming pool. Originally chosen to lend style and personality to the spaces, the collection ended up playing a key design role by creating a coordinated image between the building and the exterior spaces.
The second highly distinctive element is the large powder-coated aluminium screens used in place of traditional wooden panels. These screens stand out for their striking pattern of perforations and guarantee privacy while achieving the wow factor that runs through the entire project.
Laminam, Oxide and Blend series
Oxide Perla, Blend Grigio
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,1
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): < 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): > 50 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant