The site, close to and overlooking Wellington harbour, was previously home to a single ramshackle weatherboard house. The owner elected to demolish and replace this with a new house for themselves, and 2 townhouses below. Following an extensive subdivision and planning process, the first step in the redevelopment of the site, was the design and construction of two walk-down townhouses to the lower half of the property. Rather than small rental units, the brief was for a back-to- back townhouses, with simple sophisticated design to create spacious light homes that would value accordingly. The new townhouses both include two bedrooms with their own bathroom, a study area, and open-plan living which maximise a feeling of space despite the small footprint. Full landscaping and inclusion of wiring for all modern conveniences helped each of the units to value substantially beyond the investment from day one.
The interior is organized about a central void space that serves several functions. First it separates the spaces within the open-plan living level, where to one side a detailed hardwood screen folds upwards from a built-in seat to create a dining area close to the kitchen and overlooking the living space beyond.
The central void then offers long views through the interior of the dwelling both to the exterior and between the floors, giving the feeling of generous space, while also bringing natural daylight deep into the plan from skylights overhead and also connecting the lower level outdoor space to the upper living level. The interior spaces are simply detailed, with clean light-washed well-detailed surfaces for that offer interest and relief, whose walls offer unexpected gallery space. To the exterior the plans are staggered and slip past one another and include a subtle fold in the external wall, meaning the cedar-clad elevation mimics the roof fold. This helps to form a site plan that is perfectly bedded into the landscape, giving each unit access to a private deck, sun and views.