LocationWellington, New Zealand
Project TeamStephen McDougall, Simon Hardy, Sarah Rutledge, Wayne Lightfoot
From the architect. Trevor and Christine Dickinson’s home occupies a site nestled between bush-clad hills and the exposed coastline. Their request for the renovation of this 1930’s weatherboard house was to reduce the four bedrooms down to one, and to provide an indoor pool and garden cottage for family and guests. New bespoke joinery creates space to display books, art, and a computer collection. The final design successfully meets the clients desire for a crafted yet unexpected home, with a mature whilst also quirky aesthetic.
The enforced disjunction created by planning rules requiring separation between the garden cottage, indoor pool and house, became an opportunity to play on the relationship between the three buildings. The plan is re-organised with a new timber joinery box inserted through the central third of the house, creating three interlocking forms. Each building’s individuality is retained, while a tailored pallet of materials, screens and planting used in the interstitial spacesbraids together the whole. The contrast of new sculpted timber and concise lines of brick and zinc enliven the existing weatherboard.
Design of the interior spaces takes into consideration their relation to the multifarious spaces outside. Views from the upstairs library extend over the hills to the east. The house overlooks a mature canopy of pohutakawa – thesummer blossom engages in playful dialogue with a crimson glass insert in the upstairs window joinery. The lower deck is encircled by timber paneling, which provides shelter from onshore winds whilst framing the expansive harbour view.
Casual living spaces incorporate the harbour view to the west, with generous shelving and upholstered window seats creating a tranquil abode to relax, contemplate and reflect out over the ease of the ocean towards the city lights beyond.