Architects: RTA Studio
Location: Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand
Area: 280.0 sqm
Photographs: Patrick Reynolds
From the architect. This is a family house for an architect, writer and their 3 young children. It is located in a leafy inner city heritage neighbourhood where new houses are controlled by strict planning controls. Formally the house makes a contextual response to its neighbouring bungalows. Typical housing stock in the immediate vicinity is a combination of 90-110 year old wooden bungalows and villas originating from colonial England.
The house is clad in a rain screen of white cement panels with a combination of fixed and mobile screens – some of them shading the western sun from living and sleeping spaces as well as providing privacy from the street. The pattern of the screens has been abstracted from the Victorian fretwork decoration of villas in area.
The house is positioned close the street to form a consistent relationship within the streetscape, in particular its immediate neighbours. The plan wraps a courtyard opening to the northern aspect of large native trees pre-dating the historic houses. This allows the main living functions to be arranged parallel to the street across the width of the site terminating with an outdoor room screened to the street.
This space when open provides the only continuous vista from private garden to public park across the street. The parent sleeping and private living occupies the loft space above, while children’s bedrooms are arranged parallel again to the living form on other side of the courtyard connected by a flexible play/study space facing north into the courtyard.