This alteration project explored what can be achieved by starting with a single-storey, semi-detached, two-bedroom, brick-and-tile unit dating from the 1960s, and adapting it into a modern, comfortable and sustainable residential abode!
The site of this unit lies in a densely-populated area, set two blocks back from the harbour in the beachside suburb of St Helier’s. Our engaged clients, landscape creators Babylon Gardens, worked in collaboration with 106 Architects to create a city retreat.
In response, an upper-level was added to give much-needed floorspace, plus access to the stunning views of Rangitoto Island and the Waitemata Harbour. To deal with the tight site and urban context, protective ‘view shafts’ were created that frame individual views. The exterior of the new upper level extension is ‘wrapped’ with vertical black weatherboards to accentuate the building’s newfound verticality.
Inside the new structure, an internal void was created over the living room on the west side of the house, and glazed operable windows added. On the east side, there’s an open-plan play area and study space overlooking the double-height living spaces. This allows natural light and ventilation to circulate through the house.
The second living zone occupies the former carport, sacrificed for morning sun. Covered in and with built-in seating, it steps down from the kitchen. Further spatial manoeuvres happen in the kitchen, where the ceiling drops to an intimate scale. Lined in dark, rough-sawn timber, it’s a galley format with cooking and cabinetry on one side and more storage on the other.
The open stairs that lead up to the bedrooms double as a place to watch the cook at work. Continuing the multi-use theme, the mezzanine landing becomes a wide corridor with enough room for a built-in desk that overlooks the main lounge.