Home Tour | RK Residence by Seear-Budd Ross

  • LOCATION Te Whanganui a Tara / Wellington, New Zealand
  • PHOTOGRAPHY Rory Gardiner
  • WORDS India Curtain
  • Located in Wellington, New Zealand, this family home has a sense of ease that echoes its harbour surroundings.

    After entering a design competition together in 2019, co-workers Thomas Seear Budd and James Ross discovered a kindred eye for texture, form and detail. In the years since the pair, under the name Seear-Budd Ross, have amassed a growing portfolio of projects which reflects modest minimalism and an appreciation for the Japanese notion of wabi-sabi. Thomas Seear Budd is also known for his photography, capturing homes designed by McLaren Excell in London, Vincent Van Duysen in Belgium, and his fellow designers in New Zealand. As Seear-Budd Ross’ RK Residence reveals, be it across product design, photography, architecture and interiors, the multidisciplinary studio channel a refined serenity in every aspect of their work. 

    The living room features the Medici lounge chair by Konstantin Grcic and the Arcade sofa by Simon James.

    Shortlisted for an NZ Institute of Architects award, the RK Residence is Seear-Bud Ross’ latest endeavour; a home with a stripped-back interior that acts as a frame for the coastal views of Wellington’s Robinson Bay.

    Settled in the hilly bush of Wellington’s Eastbourne, this family home features a unified exterior that conceals a pavilion-style layout within. Two structures, one for living and the other for sleeping, are separated by an internal courtyard. Running between the two spaces, a passageway with floor-to-ceiling glazed windows transports the home’s inhabitants into the lush garden beyond. The stretched hip-roof form creates a wide, low-slung profile unobtrusive to the surrounding views, allowing the home to be a part of the landscape. The living pavilion is deliberately exposed from the street to connect the home with the harbour beyond. 

    The Fragment table by Simon James and the Resident Kashmir chair.

    The sleeping pavilion is a tranquil space, enveloped by weathered timber and soft tones.

    Indoors, the entry nook is an immersive, cave-like structure clad in New Zealand-grown macrocarpa timber – an experience that Seear-Budd Ross calls “the arrival sequence.” The rest of the home juxtaposes this entry nook with high ceilings and exposed timber beams, promoting natural light and openness. “Generous views to the ocean draw the interiority outwards, and natural light is plentiful; it is lofty and dignified, yet the feeling is understated and inviting,” Thomas says. “A notable level of craft has been employed throughout the home.”

    Establishing three connected zones contributes to the RK Residence’s holistic sensory experience, achieving a seamless balance between privacy and openness. The home’s harbour-side setting allows those inside to encounter the surrounding native environment during the quiet rituals of everyday life.

    The bathroom and kitchen areas feature striking grey Tundra limestone.

    “This is a family home where the focus never strays too far from a palpable ambience of resonant restfulness.”


    – Thomas Seear-Budd

    The roof terrace captures the evening sun.

    The home overlooks the bay, with views stretching all the way across to central Wellington. 

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