Noel Jessop's Hamilton Home

A home exuding innovative ideas and featuring a unique wall cladding detail is the result of an unusual partnership between architectural designer and client. Designing one’s own home is always hard but the additional challenge for Noel Jessop of Noel Jessop Architecture (NJA) was that the client was wife Kylie. 

Together they have created a home in rural Hamilton which is outstanding on many fronts with a high degree of functionality to meet the needs of their family of six. 

“Having my wife as a client was good as she brought a new perspective to the design process”, says Noel. “What is day-to-day for me was a whole new experience for her but ultimately it made me a better listener and communicator; you have to understand the person sitting across the table from you”.

Temple View is about 15 minutes south-west of Hamilton CBD and the suburb, created in the 1950s, is home to the 20-hectare garden of Taitua Arboretum featuring open pasture, lakes and woodlands. The suburb is where Noel and Kylie found a hilly 6500m2 block with wide ranging views back towards Hamilton and in 2018 they bought it.  The site was the perfect location to begin designing a home that would embrace the views on offer and what the site at the top of the ridgeline would allow.

“There was no real rush to complete the project at that time and so we had the luxury of working through ideas and discussing what we required as a family of six”, says Noel.

“Kylie said from the outset that it needed to be light and bright with an open flow and easy access to the outdoors, especially from the ensuite.  We had stayed at a resort where the ensuite led straight out onto the pool area and Kylie was keen to replicate that feel”.

The home is designed to feature a mixture of individuality and communal spaces with constant reference to the outdoors, even in the upstairs through windows providing that link to the landscape. The form of the home is simple – fulfilling the functional, financial and aesthetic aspects of the project; just one room wide and no ‘extraneous’ spaces like hallways.

All the views are to the east and the house is oriented that way with entry to the back on the western side. In simple terms it comprises two “boxes” arranged one on top of the other and set at perpendicular angles. The upper level is cantilevered over the lower level at each end creating a car port on one side and a verandah on the other. 

Entry is to the ground floor which comprises a main bedroom suite along with an open plan kitchen, dining and living room with access to eastern and northern outdoor spaces.  A staircase from the entrance leads to the children’s living space plus four bedrooms and a bathroom. Noel says with a building platform of 1500 – 2000m2 to play with it was imperative to give every family member what they wanted. Even the pool is located not to occupy an important lawn area for the children to play next to the house. 

The eastern deck is the party deck where the BBQ is set up and is accessed directly from the kitchen while the northern deck leads off the living area and is referred to as the evening deck, with its more subdued vibe and where, as the sun sets, one can look over to the city lights. 

Considerable thought and effort was given to cladding and roofing choice.  Noel and the NJA team worked at length on a detail for a rainscreen – an idea that started in the office as a piece of cut out cardboard. What followed was a mock-up of how the fish-like scales could work both as a rainscreen but to also act as a solar shield to the upper level of the home. The metal of choice was aluminium as an efficient conductor of heat and cold and the material was cut and shaped into scales by Morne Aucamp of TMB Cladding Services and installed by Hayden Johnstone of Johnstone Building. The wall of scales is an engaging feature on either end of the upper structure, contrasting well with the larch and cedar cladding on the walls below. European sourced larch - chosen for its knots and grain structure - is also featured on a flush mounted garage door system clad in larch battens, while other walls on the upper level have HardiFlex cladding.

Says Noel: “We’re sitting at the top of the ridgeline so we needed to provide protection from the wind and sun.  One thing I discovered was that there’s no such thing as prevailing wind when you’re on top of a ridge – it comes from every direction so materiality is really important”.

The roof has a shallow 3o pitch and Dimond Roofing supplied a BB900 profile with its strong ribs selected to add to the overall detail on this rural Hamilton home so perfectly suited to the family’s lifestyle.

The Jessop’s home can also boast some clever joinery which is wide-spanning with full height doors and windows at the lower level giving the home with its simple internal material palette and detailing a bach-y feel.

“The simple act of getting the windows and doors in the right places can have a transformative effect on any home and on the quality of lifestyle of those living in it”, says Noel.  “We couldn’t be happier with the result; in terms of what the house does for us there’s nothing we would do differently.”

Architectural Designer 

Noel Jessop Architecture is a boutique architectural practice creating modern, contemporary design in both the residential and commercial markets.  The philosophy of the practice is creating “what feels right for us”.  Our purpose, it says, is to integrate our thinking with our customers so we produce a final product that makes everyone proud.

Noel Jessop Architecture

Johnstone Building
Hayden Johnstone
Phone: 022 643 1758

Roofing Manufacturer:
Dimond Roofing
Material: BB900

Roof and Wall Cladding Installer:
Hayden Johnstone

Simon Wilson