Northland Road Infill
Completion : July 2005
Contractor : Southcoast Construction
The small site on a steep piece of Wellington’s inner suburbs was subdivided in 1903 but never built on as the property consisted of a tiny 141 square metre plot between a 20+ metre vertical drop between two roads. The challenging brief was to design a home that was to include three bedrooms, two bathrooms, study and open plan living with two living areas, dining & kitchen but with a spacious, generous feel. District Plan requirements only allowed a 60 sq metre footprint, meaning that the proposed house needed to be on 3 levels to achieve the brief. The house is designed around a simple rendered-plaster box laid horizontally and cut into the contour, intersected by a vertical weatherboard clad atrium form that connects the floors with circulation.
Light and dark exterior colours define this intersection, which also connects the interior (through a central stairwell core) giving an otherwise small house a feeling of generous space. The architecture is then characterized by large windows, and interconnecting spaces that visually open up the central living space to appear spacious and achieves interest and richness. The plan starts with the entrance (or second living / guest bed) to the top level, where the user is taken through a central atrium descending three floors, first via a floating timber stair way to the middle living level, then to the generous lower floor hallway servicing the bathrooms, laundry and 3 bedrooms. Careful planning achieves flexibility by the use of sliding partitions, and wide hallways often giving users more than one use for each space.