Keene Family Home by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture

Distinctive Designs

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Keene Family Home

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming street facade of the Keene Family Home. Designed by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture, this home was one of the winners of the 2023 Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects National Awards.


A Clever Transformation on a Steep Slope

The project cleverly transforms behind its traditional exterior. As you explore, a spacious and contemporary addition unfolds, skillfully navigating a steep 40-degree slope and respecting the boundaries of neighbouring properties.


The brilliance lies in the multi-level layout. Each floor boasts expansive views, while a series of sheltered courtyards and a pool nestled at the peak of the site create a surprising amount of outdoor living space. Stepping inside, the material choices resonate with warmth and comfort. Native timbers, woollen carpets, and cork create a sensory experience that complements the original house. Yet, a distinct design language emerges through a departure from the white exterior and the neighbouring architecture.


A Client-Focused Design

But this project’s true success lies in its responsiveness to the Keene family’s vision. A framed copy of their brief prominently displayed in the home office speaks volumes. Here, we see a thoughtful collaboration between architect and client, resulting in a space that fulfils and exceeds the family’s desires. The Keene Family Home showcases thoughtful design that prioritises both functionality and a deep connection with its inhabitants.











Source: Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects

By: Jamie Quinn

Photos Provided by: Patrick Reynolds

Designer: Bull O’Sullivan Architecture