Innovative Creative Inspired

Words we all associate with excellence in the craft of architectural design but not always the words we hear from clients.

The work of architect Davor Mikulcic has won this praise from clients Helen and Phillip Blundell and as a result has established a life-long friendship.

The Blundell home, designed around a very specific brief, has been recognised with numerous industry awards. The Blundell’s new home in Upper Hutt was the first time they had ventured into the process of designing and building a home. Despite the many stories of the stresses that can be associated with building the Blundells acknowledge this project was a pleasure from the outset until the final detail was complete. The synergy between client, architect and builder was of paramount importance to them and the success of the project. To achieve this they spent some time researching, interviewing and discussing their dreams with potential candidates. Initial discussions included three architects and as many builders until they settled on architect Davor Mikulcic and builder Brian Marriner. This proved to be a winning combination. The design brief was extensive. In fact ran to 10 pages of very specific details not the least of which was to accommodate for Mr. Blundell and other visitors who are wheelchair bound. The spatial requirements were conventional but required considerable exploration to achieve the indoor/outdoor flow which would allow Mr. Blundell to enjoy gardening and access to every area of the home. A single level home, despite a sloping hilltop site, was a priority as lifts were considered a restriction. Ease of access was the key with no internal or external obstructions or boundaries. The home was to be flexible enough to be comfortable for their elderly parents and exciting enough to stimulate the grandchildren. Mr. Blundell says “We did not want a home that said “disability”, we wanted a home that anyone could move into and enjoy. Davor has achieved this. Anyone would love it!” In addition to these specifics the home was to maximise the use of passive solar energy, include underfloor heating, solar panels, double glazing and the best thermal insulation available. Architect Davor Mikulcic was given a free hand in the choice of internal and external materials that would compliment the design composition and budget. “Everything about this project has significance.” says Mr. Blundell.” Davor provided us with many options...everything he suggested was exactly right. From the colours to the materials from the interior to the exterior. He has a great eye for detail and an appreciation of our needs and taste. He has created more than a home, he has created our home. Davor is equally as appreciative of his clients and acknowledges the success of the project is due to an open and transparent relationship where each appreciates their differences but strives to achieve the same goal. The home creates spaces to inspire, shelter, dream. play. love and entertain friends. The ability to merge areas gives the impression of spaciousness and sliding doors and walls quickly provide opportunity to create intimate spaces. With some passion Davor describes the project as, “an exciting journey of exploration creating a beautiful home but more importantly a life time friendship. To achieve both, in my experience in the industry, is rare.” The soaring, lightweight, longrun roof structure is braced with steel allowing the removal of many supporting internal walls. This provides additional space for wheel chair mobility and to accommodate moving walls that provide flexible living areas. The exterior is clad in vertical Colorsteel and Titan board. The basics the home provides is 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a study, open plan kitchen adjoining the a family room, a formal dinning and living area. The entry and garaging to the front provides easy access through a massive ceiling high doorway which opens into a generous reception lobby. Hallways are spacious as are all traffic areas throughout the home. The northern aspect has floor to ceiling double glazed windows allowing winter sun to penetrate the heat sink provided by the polished aggregate concrete floor and concrete block core to the building. Solar panels boost the water heating during October through until May and during winter months the German made Rotex boiler provides controlled, integrated underfloor heating to various areas of the home. Lower benches in the kitchen area, custom designed laundry facilities, 50mm high electrical plugs, electrically operated windows, wheelchair accessible showers and doorways, door handles at one meter heights are all details designed into the interior of the home. “Our new home exceeds our expectations ‘ says Mrs. Blundell, “it is a joy to live in. Whenever we have been away it is pleasure to return to an environment where functional design makes life so much more relaxing.” When asked to comment on his work Davor’s response is simple, “From the beginning the new Blundell residence, for me, had an imperative goal to celebrate good, functional, innovative, sustainable, brave and imaginative architecture, Different than the ordinary that would push the ‘boundaries’ of the everyday stereotype. The photos of my work and testimony of my clients tell the story better than I can.”

Architects profile Studio MWA Ltd, is a newly formed partnership between Principal Architect Davor Mikulcic and Practice Manager Jonathan Wilson. Included in the mix is Michael Maddern as interior designer and ArchiCAD guru. The team is concentrating on high end residential and commercial projects including Urban Design. The accent is on design orientated architecture. Davor has an established association with Thompson Adsett Architects Brisbane office and forms part of a design management team working on Australasian and International projects. Blundell House Awards: New Zealand Institute of Architects Wellington branch award for Architecture for Residential category (special needs). Master builder (Wellington region) winner for the best House of the year 2007 for category $ 600,000.00 - $ 1.0 million. Master builder (Wellington region) Gold medal for House of the year 2007 for category $ 600,000.00 - $ 1.0 million. Mico bathrooms excellence for innovative design for bathrooms. Future – proof Building Award. Clients: Helen & Phillip Blundell Architect: Davor Mikulcic. Dipl. Eng. Arch. (Sarjevo) ANZIA Studio MWA Ltd. Telephone: 64 4 801 8141 Email: Website: Main Contractor: Brian Marriner Maridale Construction Ltd. Structural Engineer: Martin Mayers Structural Engineers . Kitchen Joinery: Hadrian Noble Noble Kitchens. Bathrooms: Peter Bartley Peter Bartley Building Services Roof and Cladding Manufacturer: Silbery Longrun Ltd. Upper Hutt Profile: Silbery 7 in Ebony COLORSTEEL® ENDURA