The villa vs. the contemporary urban apartment - Lifestyle NZ
The villa vs. the contemporary urban apartment

The villa vs. the contemporary urban apartment

Interior shutters are not only suitable for standard-sized or shaped windows. In fact, the most stunning shutter installations are often created for bespoke projects. 

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Interior shutters can become a central design feature of many spaces, from the traditional villa to the most contemporary building. Here’s two very different case studies where interior shutters have been used to create a striking textural and design feature.

The renovated villa, Ponsonby

In the heart of Ponsonby on one of Auckland’s most well-known streets a renovated double-storey villa has been transformed. Once an ageing building, it now has a new lease of life as a luxury bed and breakfast. Situated on a busy corner of Franklin Road, the window dressings in this architectural renovation required two key elements: privacy and the ability to allow light to stream into each room.

The solution was double-stacked interior shutters, of which the separate levels operate independently. “This building had beautiful old sash windows with a horizontal mullion across the centre,” Brightshine’s Hayley Thompson says.

“In order to allow for both privacy from foot and vehicular traffic and neighbouring homes, as well as the ability for guests in every room to be able to enjoy an area where natural light streamed into the space, we opted to attach each set of louvres to the mullion and separate the operation. In this way, the bottom shutters can be used for privacy, while the upper shutters can be operated independently and remain open to draw light into the rooms.”

While function was a central aspect of the window dressings in this luxury abode, so too was the design. With interiors beautifully created by the building’s owner, this was a project where design was paramount. “Shutters in particular work incredibly well in villas. They create a traditional, classic appeal and with high stud heights, offer an elegant solution to introduce a textural element to the walls breaking up the full-height space. It’s an interesting design feature as while the shutters are textural, they still offer a minimalist aesthetic and retain a feeling of space and openness.”

The urban apartment building, Eden Terrace

Not too far from the villas of Franklin Road is a very different area of central Auckland. In Eden Terrace, a more industrial and contemporary feel abounds. In this sought-after residential enclave is another renovated building; a former commercial space that now houses around 80 residential apartments. From the streetfront, the facade is dramatic - black and white are juxtaposed across the exterior.

Harking back to its days as a commercial hub, this building, which is now known as The Citizen, has structural steel beams running diagonally across the majority of the windows on all floors, creating separate triangular fields of view. 

“Due to the structural nature of the beams, they needed to stay and become part of the renovated spaces,” Hayley says. “The beams, rather than becoming an unwanted element of the now residential dwellings, became a central design feature with the help of custom shutters.

“To follow the juxtaposition across the exterior of the black and white cladding, we developed a range of shutters with a mix of black and white backs for the 80 apartments. This means when the shutters are closed, they become part of the external colour palette, blending seamlessly into the tonal hues of the facade.”

However, it is not on the exterior of the building where the full extent of the design of these bespoke shutters is evident. Rather, it is in their internal form. 

“The steel beams run from the bottom left corner of the square windows across to the top right corner, creating two triangles across each window - a feature we sought to incorporate into the shutter design.”

Like most apartments, space is at a premium; a factor that required the best use of the area to ensure window dressings did not protrude into the room in any way. “The solution was triangular-shaped shutters that were fitted onto the steel beams - a distinctive and striking feature of every apartment in the building that introduces a unique geometric form and a sense of texture. 

“In this building, privacy was also a central concern and the shutters allow for the easy creation of differing levels of privacy, while also allowing light into the room.”

Find out more about creative ways to use interior shutters.  

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