located in christchurch, new zealand, the shark house by first light studio differentiates itself from the standard rectilinear rebuilds of its suburban surroundings
stretching down the length of the site, the residence’s dynamic form combines angular planes and crisp lines that overlap and converge in a series of vanishing points that twist around its steel façade, making the building appear as if forever in motion.set to design a building that would differentiate itself from the boxy aesthetics of the area, first light studio drew from the clients’ love for european supercars, and particularly the qualities engendered by the sleek and powerful maserati. in defiance of ‘the box’, the resulting residence’s surfaces are not perpendicular to one another, with offset faces and acute edges of seamed steel coming together with engineered precision. the shark, as it has come to be known, incorporates a rhythmic, dynamic façade, complete with a rich timber ‘grill’ that wraps around the second level, softening the steel’s severity and moderating sunlight penetration over the course of the day.
inside, the architects have combined textured concrete on the structure’s walls with warm timber and details of black steel, particularly found on the staircase that connects all levels. though static and solid in its construction, the house achieves a dynamic fluidity, found inside and out with hard and durable materials that look soft, tactile and malleable. ‘monochromatic city slickness plays off against the rich color and warmth of natural materials,’ notes first light studio. ‘what aims to emulate the functional exactitude of a high-performance machine is warm, comfortable, relaxed and inviting inside.’