Practice — Warren & Mahoney Architects
Interior Design — Davinia Sutton
Photography — Samuel Hartnett
Nestled in an idyllic Canterbury landscape lies the Hepburn’s Road House, a stunning architectural masterpiece by the renowned Warren and Mahoney, designed in collaboration with interior designer Davinia Sutton. Not only does this exceptional residence present a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity but it also offers a unique and flexible living experience, where the practicalities of family life are woven into a beautiful design.
The essence of Hepburn’s Road House lies in its distributed pavilions, a concept that gracefully responds to the expansive flat land on which the home sits. Designed to cater to the needs of a couple and their daughter, the residence has been made as suitable for quiet family life as it is for accommodating guests, its layout and structural features lending versatility and plenty of space for both public and private pursuits.
This pavilion-style architecture sees the home divided into three symmetrically stacked volumes, each boasting gabled roofs. The striking but ultimately simple exterior, clad in traditional bevel-back weatherboards, appears as a monolithic form, with only subtle hints at the intricate floor plan hidden beneath its surface. Designed with practicality as much as aesthetics in mind, each pavilion features full-height timber shutters with black steel frames that can be adjusted to control natural light and ventilation throughout the changing seasons.
This idea of a balance between functionality and form continues in the home’s adaptable interior. Here, practical elements have been incorporated with a careful attention to detail, ensuring they can serve their intended purpose without disrupting the home’s elegant furnishings, fixtures and material palette.
At the heart of the residence is the kitchen. There, in what one can only imagine is a hive of family activity, a series of Fisher & Paykel appliances have been seamlessly integrated, enhancing both the design and usability of the space. For cooking, Fisher & Paykel’s Minimal Induction Cooktop and Gas on Glass Cooktop, as well as its Integrated Insert Rangehood, Minimal Combination Steam Oven and Minimal Oven lie unobtrusively in the background, ready to spring into action when needed. While for other kitchen functions like storage, Fisher & Paykel’s Integrated Column Refrigerator and Freezer alongside its Integrated Wine Cabinet and CoolDrawerTM are all tidily tucked behind matte-painted and stained-veneer joinery, something that interior designer Davina Sutton cited as the perfect finishing touch. “Applied to reflect the form and detail of the architecture, they provide a modern twist on the traditional cabinetry-style panelled door,” she says.
In fact, Sutton’s meticulous interior choices, including natural and engineered stone benchtops, stained oak herringbone timber floors and the aforementioned veneer joinery, combined with Fisher & Paykel’s innovative technology have resulted in a kitchen that is not only functional, but stands as a visually stunning focal point within this home.
Elsewhere, the Hepburn’s Road House boasts a separate and generous laundry space, equipped with a Fisher & Paykel Heat Pump Dryer and a Front Loader Washing Machine. Set in their sophisticated, modern environment, these appliances offer practicality and efficiency as well as aligning perfectly with the overarching design philosophy at play.
Hepburn’s Road House is a harmonious marriage of architectural excellence, thoughtful interior design and cleverly applied practical elements. It exemplifies how tradition and innovation can (and should) coexist seamlessly in modern living spaces, and stands as a testament to the timeless beauty and practicality that exceptional design can bring to our lives.