“Every job starts with a good client brief and these clients were very keen to have a home that was dramatic, imaginative, fun … and they definitely wanted to use concrete,” explains Adam Mercer, from Mercer and Mercer, the Architects chosen by the Davis’ to design their new home.
Rod and Liz Davis had lived their lives in traditional homes, most recently a six bedroom villa, so had decided this was their opportunity to do something new. They wanted to build a fun, very different home to what they were accustomed to, putting their money into the living areas of the new home and just two bedrooms – which they could justify now that their kids had left home.
Adam, with a brief from Rod and Liz, and input from the Davis’ son Grant, (a recent graduate architect who became part of the Mercer and Mercer team), produced a design that was dramatic, challenging and yet comfortable. The industrial style has scale with a high vaulted ceiling, honed Grey Masonry walls and a highly polished concrete floor to complete the overall effect.
Decorative concrete at its best
“The industrial aesthetic of this house was always going to require a beautiful polished concrete floor to accompany it,” says Adam. “We contacted Megafloor and they came on board very early on with advice and expertise. “
“We were contacted initially by Mercer and Mercer to discuss the brief from the owners,” says Scott McBreen, National Sales and Marketing Manager for Megafloor. “We discussed with them the process and talked with the placers to ensure that care was taken from the start to ensure we had a good product to work with. We also worked closely with Firth to ensure we got the right mix to achieve the desired result. In this case the client selected a ‘Koru’ mix coloured by ‘Mist’ - a Firth Elements oxide. This is the Megafloor High Street Premium product which includes a deep grind system and is polished to 3000 grit.”
Scott says that because they were asked early on about the best way to proceed with the floor they were able to work with the builder to produce a very high-end result. “If the floor is laid properly, the right mixes and aggregate are used and the right care is taken then the result, as in this case, can be outstanding.”
“We also met with Firth very early on to ensure what was proposed would work in reality, and they were a great help,” says Adam. “They educated our process, details and specification, and followed the job all the way through. Using Firth and Megafloor has produced an amazing result … the floor is often mistaken for polished granite, it is that good.”
Not just a plain old grey block
Nat King, from C F King Contracting - the blocklayers appointed to the job of laying Firth’s Grey Masonry on the Davis’ house – says, “We worked closely with the builders and have a good relationship with them, which helps get a good result. There was nothing difficult about laying grey masonry, we do it every day, but we do pride ourselves on ensuring everything is plumb, straight and the joints are consistent. This project turned out very well, which can be attributed in part to the teamwork of all the sub contractors, Faulkner Construction, Adam Mercer and the owners. Simple products put together well can produce an outstanding result.“
“This house is a form of art,” says Rod Davis, former Olympic sailor and a current member of the America’s Cup holders, Team New Zealand. “We keep pinching ourselves. It's such a cool, relaxing house. We are very grateful to Adam for seeing how things should be.”
Owners: Rod and Liz Davis
Architect: Mercer and Mercer
Builder: Faulkner Construction
Blocklayer: C F King Contracting
Polished Floor: Megafloor™
Location: Orakei, Auckland