This impressive home in Auckland, New Zealand, was built during the 1970s; an era when split-level design was at the height of architectural brilliance. Extensive remodelling and refurbishment was undertaken to both the exterior and interior of the property, completely modernising the home, while still fusing well with the streetscape of same-period homes in the neighbourhood. Let's take a look around to see how Dorrington Atcheson Architects have remodelled a once labyrinth-style home, to become more open, and a much easier space to live in.
The exterior façade of the home that faces the street has seen a drastic change to the image the original architect would have envisioned some 40 years prior. Dark cedar timber has been vertically mounted on a curtain frame, which stretches the façade to give an illusion of a much taller building. Cedar was the chosen building material as it is very light compared to other timbers, and is highly robust.
Moving around the rear of the house, you can see how the building has been designed with Auckland's desirable climate in mind, offering an amazing space to spend long summer days. New windows have been added to the second story of the home in order to offer more natural light inside, and for a view outside. The new single storey annex has floor-to-ceiling windows, which can be pushed completely aside to allow the outdoors in. Located in the new addition to the rear of the home is the kitchen, living room, and behind a three-quarter height room divider, a cosy dining nook, in an ode to the 70s style of the original home.
To the side of the house is an amazing pool, surrounded by stone slabs that continue the rectilinear contours of the building. The pool offers respite from Auckland's often hot and humid summers.
Stepping inside the property, we see how the slatted timber theme of the exterior façade is also prevalent on the interior walls. Tongue and groove walls emulate the linearity of those in the original home, and offer a sense of warmth in their natural timber tones. Also in honour of the period the home was built in, retro yet modern furnishings complete the dining room space.
As you can see, the bathroom has been completely modernised, with an engaging mix of warm and cold materials. The warmth of the timber is juxtaposed by the cold feeling of the grey tiles, almost looking like unfinished concrete.
By moving the kitchen, dining area and living area out of the original building and into the new extension, this freed up much space for these existing rooms to be used as smaller living spaces for the owners.
A huge emphasis was placed on the new kitchen's design, with a large portion of the extension reserved for this favoured room. New cabinetry hides many kitchen components, allowing the minimal and linear timber theme to continue in this space. Highlighted by the black island bench, this open kitchen merges with the new living area, and opens out on the garden, allowing the occupants to entertain guests during many months of Auckland's temperate climate.
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