This weatherboard bungalow on a generous site in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden was typical of its time and painted pretty pastel blue. Small rooms led off a central hallway and an impractical deck and steep set of stairs were the only way to access the back garden. The owners, a family with two children, wanted an environment that was lighter and more spacious, somewhere they could all gather to eat and play, and better connection to the land.
In a double-pronged approach, Box™ devised and built an extension to the house and renovated the existing dwelling to bring its form and functionality into focus.
Clad in vertical black plywood, the addition is visually detached from the 1920s home – a deliberate design move that, rather than blur the lines, is an honest expression of its contemporary nature.
Two new volumes that contain the kitchen, dining and living are housed beneath asymmetrical roofs. Raked ceilings soar to a 4.6-metre apex – an allusion to the volcanic cone of Mt Eden nearby. From the front door, the extended hallway acts as a spine that links to the new main living zone. Two sets of stairs make for a more interesting transition – a journey that descends with the lay of the land and culminates in an outdoor area that flows straight to the lawn.
Within the original footprint of this special character building, all the timber windows were retained but the bathrooms were updated with built-in cabinetry, and the hallway, once dark and dingy, now sports raked ceilings and skylights to draw in the shifting clouds above. The layout was slightly re-arranged to create a main bedroom with its own en suite and walk-in wardrobe as well as an L-shaped office strategically designed to take advantage of an existing window. A flexi-room will serve the needs of a growing family well.
Sandwiched between the bungalow and its modern-day built partner is a west-facing deck – an additional, sheltered evening space that marks the juxtaposition of the past and the future.