A brief to undertake a major renovation of this 1950s Mt Victoria house required careful balancing of the client’s desire for a contemporary apartment-style home with the need to remain sensitive to the surrounding area’s qualities.
The existing house, with its flat-roofed concrete form, was already distinct from the adjacent traditional timber houses. A restrained palette of materials in muted tones and transparent bands of full-height glazing set into projecting zinc bays give the house a light, almost ethereal quality that allows it to settle discreetly into its context.
Rather than create a pastiche of traditional styles, the exterior form, with its clean lines and modest scale, was retained and reclad. Visible horizontal lines created by aluminium louvres and the seams of the zinc cladding around the windows relate to the surrounding weatherboard exteriors. A new lightweight roof now crowns the building, angling up as a gesture to the pitched roofs of the nearby villas and incorporating a roof terrace delicately finished with glass balustrades.
Unusually for a house, street access is from the top floor, and internal stairs lead down into the house, with a spatial sequence furling from open to intimate. The self-contained unit tucked into the ground floor of the house emerges into a flat landscaped terrace garden that, overlooked by the upper floors, extends out towards the view.
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award for Residential Architecture – Houses, 2008
BEST Bronze Award for Spatial Design (Residential), 2010