Beaconsfield St


Completed 2021

This project started with a very modest brick and tile cottage set amongst villas of a leafy Devonport suburb, and a client with a distinguished engineering career designing large commercial structures who wished to build with steel and concrete.

From here emerged a multilayered project resulting in a specific response to site, context and the people involved. From the outset the client went against the expectations by wishing to retain the original cottage, in part as a reminder of the brick and tile house they grew up in. As a Heritage Zone, Auckland Council were very supportive, as many of this era and style of house in this area are lost.

The residence is designed to act as a comfortable dwelling for a retired couple that can easily accommodate large numbers of visiting family. It is conceived as a sequence of indoor and outdoor spaces that take you from the public facing front formal lawn, directly into the renovated cottage and through a glazed link to an informal intimate courtyard surrounded by living spaces and bedrooms, a private space that supports family life.

The addition’s spaces are intentionally well defined and small scaled in keeping with the scale of the original cottage. The use of commercial construction results in unexpected elements to the rear addition such as welded steel columns, Corten balconies and cantilevered concrete stairs.

This tension between the old and new folds together the history of both the client and the site. Multiple histories of site and context are reflected in the two roofs, the peaked form of the original cottage and the roof form of the addition, inspired by the Devonport Naval Base saw tooth buildings that are visible from the harbour, and a nod also the client’s history with industrial buildings.

This project has a 6 Homestar rating with NZGBC, re-using bricks from the renovation of the state-house, incorporating rainwater tanks, and utilizing operable windows to control temperature and ventilation.

Completed 2021.