first_img38 Eldernell Terrace, HamiltonBrayden Larkin of Zephr Industries has designed and built a lot of houses.Yet Blanco, a three-storey monolith cascading down the side of Hamilton Hill, was always going to be extra special, because it was going to be his family home. The hiuse’s cladding is made from a special Scandinavian wood that gives a weathered look.“I designed and built Blanco to how I really wanted to have a house,” Brayden said.“It is a big suspended concrete slab construction. I wanted the structure to appear like it was almost levitating off the side of the hill. I also wanted it to encapsulate the views from each of the three levels.”The use of concrete was always going to create a raw industrial feel, but by introducing soft tones, Brayden has managed to turn Blanco into a warm, family home for himself, wife Jess and their two-year-old son. The house has more than 900 sq m of covered living space.“I always wanted to do like a Palm Springs kind of home, like you would see in California but then I also liked the idea of having a floating pool and fire pit, like you would see in a Bel Air mansion, so I tried to blend the two to create something different.”What is evident is the time and effort that has been put into the design of the five-bedroom home covering more than 900 sq m under roof, which for a minimalist structure has some outstanding details. The use of wood brings a softness to the concrete structure.Take the internal staircase that ascends from the middle, entry level of the house to the master bedroom retreat above. Built with a concrete stringer down the centre, the timber treads extend from either side secured by an invisible metal plate and finished with a metal balustrade.“I haven’t seen stairs like that before, where everything is seamless,” he said.Also on this level is a limestone wall that runs the length of the house.These intricate touches extend outside to the home’s facade, which is clad in a special timber sourced from the Netherlands that has been kiln dried to extract all the water. The suspended pool costed $250,000 to build.“This gives the wood a slightly weathered look that you would normally only ever achieve with time,” he said.Around the back of the house, the pool features lighting that emulates a starry night sky. The lights, Brayden tells me, are the same ones used in a Rolls-Royce car. The limestone wall and concrete stringer staircase.“The pool cost about $250,000 to build because you have 60 to 70 tonnes of water floating in the air above Hamilton Hill, so we had to retain the structure and tie it back into the house to make it look seamless. A lot of work goes into it. I just hope that whoever buys the house can see and appreciate the level of those details,” he says.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market8 hours agoWith Hamilton a predominantly heritage suburb characterised by listed buildings, Brayden said he snapped up the last two remaining blocks of land about two years ago. Blanco and Noir, a five-storey show-stopping home Brayden is building a few doors down, will probably be among the last two new homes to be built on the hill. The house has views of the city from every level.For the buyer of this multigenerational home, one thing is certain — they will not have to move again for some time.“I have young children so I had to build a house that would suit that, but I’ve also designed it to be a house that will grow with any family. We have the pool, two living areas and a bit of grass on one level and bedrooms on all three, so you can use as much or as little of the space as you need. Polished timber wood floors feature throughout.“The fact that all three levels are serviced by a lift means you can easily live here until you are 80 or beyond. It’s also super-low maintenance. All the gardens are irrigated with desert-style plants so you literally don’t have to do anything but mow the grass.”While Brayden has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Blanco, he says, as a designer, the itch to move on and build something new never fades.Now, with a new baby on the way, he says the time has come for the family to move closer to his parents-in law in Newport where Brayden will design and build what he is adamant will be their forever home. The building is an architchectural feat.last_img