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With a U-shaped plan embracing a central courtyard, plus tongue-and-groove ceilings throughout, this 70s home in Meadowbank, Auckland had design credentials worth celebrating. However, a conservatory tacked onto the living room some years later intruded on the space; it also jutted into the courtyard compromising the architectural intention. The entry, via the carport, was small, awkward and ambiguous for visitors.

An alteration to emphasise the advantages of that archetypal U was a natural solution. The conservatory was removed and the courtyard reinstated to its full width. The living room wing was then extended to be a mirror image of the bedroom wing. A modern kitchen and dining zone created within this generous room is ideal for open-plan entertaining. Here too, the new roofline flicks up to incorporate a set of clerestory windows – and give spatial relief from the constancy of the mono-pitch ceiling.

The path that now leads off the street to a centralised front door lends the home a better sense of welcome. Beyond the entry hall, there’s an immediate view over a newly created raised garden and the courtyard beyond.
Internally, the laundry was re-located to allow space within the bedroom wing for a family room. Sliding doors link to the courtyard and the visual connection between this room and the living wing is important for the owners, who have a young daughter.

While the concrete block and cedar palette had retro charm, the aesthetic was outdated. New vertical cedar cladding emulates the mood of the past, as do cork floors which were continued to match seamlessly with the re-oiled original. By honouring a plan that has earned its stripes as a classic, past imperfect has become future perfect.

  • Location - Meadowbank, Auckland
  • Project type - Renovation
  • Year - 2016