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Thorne Group


An expansive life on a compact site

As published in Nourish Magazine, Issue 54, Autumn 2024.  Words by Liz French | Images by Brydie Thompson.

In our burgeoning urban areas land is getting scarcer and site sizes smaller. Medium to high density housing can be achieved without sacrificing quality of life, making rethinking the way we live a liberating experience.

Andra and Andrew Rapley did not move far for a fresh life in a contemporary environment. They now relax in sunshine and seclusion in the courtyard of their new home; right behind their original one in an established central city locale.

Subdividing a property (with all the necessary council approvals) and building a dwelling on the new site is described as an infill project. With the right design and execution, it can be a fulfilling one, as the Rapleys discovered once they involved Thorne Group.

Local Mãori history meant the subdivision was more complicated than they expected, and Andrew acknowledges it may have been a smoother process had they got Thorne Group on board earlier.

Andra had seen other Thorne Group homes and appreciated the individuality and quality they displayed. A visit to the showhome sealed the deal. Thorne Group's architectural design partner, Jon McAlpine (TG Architecture), worked with them to create a plan that took in the constraints of the site, maximised the north aspect, and provided solutions to their want list: space for entertaining with seamless access outdoors, an intimate second lounge beside an upstairs master suite with estuary outlook, double garage, storage galore... and even facility for a lift.

The Rapleys appreciated that while Thorne Group's project management and scheduling was super-efficient and their attention to detail reassuringly obsessive, they were also flexible enough to allow their clients scope to inject their own personality.

The result is a home that genuinely reflects its owners. Andra's interior design flair is evident in features like the kitchen splashback and the brave use of dark colours as a counterpoint to the light bright interior. She particularly loves the black joinery and stacking sliders that open one corner entirely.

This successful infill project proves that living on a smaller site can gift a larger life. "We have far more time to relax, entertain, enjoy recreational activities and travel while still living in a location we love," says Andrew.


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