The indoor/outdoor area of this two-level house over looking Auckland's Waitemata harbour functions as the heart and soul of the home, says the architect Daniel Marshall.
The plan: "We wanted a space that could be viewed from all areas in the house, and to create a sense of calm through the planting, the sound and reflection of the water falling across the levels, and through using a restrained room is the central element around which the circulation is arranged, even though the ground drops a full level over the width of the house. I was very interested in Japanese gardens and architecture, particularly the way water is used to mark a journey and provide points of reflection."
Material with impact: "The cortex steel that we used to frame the concrete steps and the edges of the falling water ponds was the best find."
Introspection and harmony: "The room is intended to be the focus when one looks inward; It's a counterpoint to the expansive sea views. It's an area of introspection and harmony."
The judges said: "An imaginative and clever concept that pulls the house aesthetic together."
The en suite in this Auckland renovation by architect Daniel Marshall was designed to embrace a feeling of luxury or, as Daniel puts it, be "a place of refuge". The style and materials reflect the early 1970s architecture of the home but are updated with a refined twist.
Connectivity: "I like an ensuite to be as connected as possible to the bedroom, so I always pursue a strategy of enclosing the functions that require more privacy while leaving the rest of the bathroom - the vanity area for instance - open for access to and form the bedroom."
The colour choices: "We deliberately used darker tones, with liquorice glass mosaic tiles on the walls and a moody brown limestone tile for the flooring. Walnut cabinetry and black exterior louvres added to the effect. We wanted the feeling of a moody, luxe spa."
The main focus: "The freestanding bath that is highlighted by the limestone wall, which hides the shower and the toilet."
The judges said: "We loved the moodiness and the juxtaposition between the two tiles. It's tactile and powerful."