House of Steel and Light

project details +

New York loft meets arts and crafts in renovation project in Auckland

Winner NZIA Local Architectural Award 2013

Urbane and sophisticated clients inspired by New York lofts requested that their circa 1924 Arts and Crafts house in Auckland be given a makeover involving renovation and remodelling to fill it with light and reflect their architectural tastes.

Typical of its time, the original house had been added to in the 1980s in an attempt to provide better connections to a sheltered eastern aspect garden, but the bulk of the house remained poorly linked to this desirable aspect. Moreover, a maze of small dark rooms within the original building remained untouched. Site coverage constraints meant that the new work had to remain within the existing footprint, while heritage constraints also applied.

Our solution was to remove virtually all of the rear walls of the ground floor to create a continuous glass screen, connecting the house not only to the remodelled garden and swimming pool but also to the street at the north-western corner.

Finely articulated steel joinery (double glazed) mediates between the modernist response to the brief and the much-loved Arts and Craft character of the original. The already remodelled kitchen was adapted to the new plan, while finishes throughout the house were kept simple to showcase the owners collection of art and furniture.


Photographer – Fraser Newman