Karaka Bay house
Sited above the stunning Wellington harbour entrance, this project was originally to build a new dwelling to the upper portion of the site, and provide access to a newly created plot to the rear. Draconian planning regulations meant that rather than a new-build, the end result involved a 50/50 new build and alteration where the existing building envelope had to remain. Despite this, and further constraints of driveway access to the north, and strict height-plane envelopes from the south, the west-facing streetscape presents a cohesive design using a palette and forms that avoid highlighting the requirements. horizontal forms of garage, decking and open plan living space above fold into the raised vertical euroline-clad upper-level. In this way the house offers the streetscape new building forms and materials that complement its established suburban setting without assuming the cliche modernism-by-numbers aesthetic so often seen in similar developments.
The newly-created three-storey interior is set out around a central void space that sits between the junction of old and new house. This offers visual connection between the entry, middle level living spaces and rear private courtyard, as well as bedroom spaces below. The use of open-tread stairs made from recycled native timbers, vertical timber screens, and the polished poured concrete wall reflect the light that floods into the lowest level from skylights above. Elsewhere through the interior the exterior forms have been sculpted and hollowed out, and we have used a simple material palette of white walls, black joinery highlights, and recessed LED lighting to mould junction after junction throughout where the new exterior forms give the opportunity.