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New Zealand’s scariest, most precarious homes

They’re not making any more land so many New Zealanders in our mountainous land have turned their ingenuity to building on some of the most precipitous sites in the world.

NZ scariest homes

We talk about the challenges of building on steep sites and present a gallery that will take your breath away.

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

Houses which look as though they have been built on top of each other have been part of the Wellington landscape for more than 150 years. The challenges involved in constructing them were enormous, and even today, renovating and even painting them takes special skills, as we will discuss later in this article.

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

More and more New Zealanders are choosing to build on clifftops and steep sections, not only because of the scarcity of land, but also to take advantage of views and the inability to be built out. A glimpse of the sea crashing on the rocks below this cantilevered clifftop home on Waiheke Island is enough to bring on vertigo.

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

Two couples found Wellington’s rental prices to be scarier than the steepness of the ‘marginal’ property they found in Miramar, where they build two amazing homes up the hillside.

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

Declared by the Guinness Book of Records to be the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street in Dunedin has become a major tourist attraction.

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

The street is the venue for Dunedin’s annual Jaffa Rolling Race as well as the World's Steepest Street Party and Gutbuster Race (the fastest time for reaching the top of the 350-metre incline is 1:56).

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

Back in Wellington, this house by brilliant architect Ian Athfield has been described as ‘a rambling organism on the hillside’. Whether you love it or hate it, it is one of the most impressive houses in the world, not least because of the slope it’s built on.

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

While we’re in Wellington and talking about the challenges of building on difficult sites, here’s a current work in progress by veteran Pzazz Building affiliate Rudy van Vlerken. As you can see, the slope and lack of access have presented some special difficulties.

 

 

 

NZ scariest homes

Building materials and even an earth mover have had to be craned on to the precipitous site high above a bush-clad gully. But it’s “nothing we aren’t used to here in Wellington” says Rudy, whose specialist projects on other steep and challenging sites has been featured in several of our other articles.

We’ll show you photos of the pole house when it’s completed.

 

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