The Blundell’s – Silverstream, Upper Hutt
Owner’s Phillip and Helen Blundell’s brief was simple – “We don’t want functional – we want exciting!”
The Blundell home is a breakthrough design to the industry, as it clearly demonstrates that a Lifemark approved home serving the functions of accessibility, usability and inclusiveness, certainly can take your breath away when it comes to design.
Their exciting new home has been built to accommodate the needs of Phillip, who has been a wheelchair user since a military helicopter accident 24 years ago. Everything is accessible, from the gently-sloping entry from the street via a full-height extra-width front door, through to a spacious open planned living area which opens up straight through to 150 square metres of kwila decks surrounding the house. Sliding doors throughout have handles at a metre height. Steel-braced soaring roof lines have allowed the removal of major internal walls, giving more room for the wheelchair to move around.
In the kitchen, the microwave opens downward and the oven sideways. Benches are low, and even includes a purpose built area which houses a coffee machine where Phillip can be a personal barista for his guests.
There’s a spacious office and a state-of-the-art entertainment centre with six zoned placed speaker system and a huge projector screen which can come down for those Big Games. There is even a room with a home exercise machine and equipment provided through ACC.
Two of the three wheelchair-accessible bathrooms have wet-area showers, which makes personal hygiene easy and visits a breeze for their elderly parents.
An innovative and sustainable garden has also been added to the property which includes a raised planter boxes for Phillip’s vegetable garden.
The Lifemark design standards are basically just common sense – simple design features that enable accessible, adaptable and inclusive design features into a home that work for everybody at whatever stage of life.
The Lifemark features can go un-noticed to most and the Blundell home proves this and shows that design has tackled functionality head on and nailed it!