This project is a renovation of a late 1950's residential dwelling in a bush glade setting in suburban Remuera. The house is modernist in style, typical of the period with low-pitched gabled roof, raking ceilings and exposed rafters.

Fundamental to the re-design was the notion of providing "graduated connections" to the surrounding glade, physical and visual.

Spaces are divided by a "blade" element that alters the entrance's appearance by extending the original chimney breast and pulls together the two floors as well as creating a stairwell that accommodates two fireplaces - one exterior, one interior.

The new entry has been lowered and the structure floated over a pool of water to give a sense of lightness that reflects light into the inner recesses of the lower level through an aperture that once was the study window.

Alterations to the upper private wing look to better utilise existing space; a reconfigured Master bedroom/new ensuite, new bathroom and additional bedroom.

The new garage extrudes from the existing gable form and is wrapped in a mixture of clear acrylic sheet/over-slatting and stained shadowclad ply. A new ramp connection to the rear entry is covered by an "attached' series of angle frames with open slats fixed to allow secure passage whilst maintaining light and openness.

Kitchen, Dining and Living spaces featured insertions of new interior units and new or upgraded exterior joinery units to enhance connections to extended deck spaces and outdoor fire area.

The lower floor area now incorporates guest accommodation and additional bar space that provides a facility for guests to cater for themselves with connections off this space to a deck/patio area and landscaped gardens.

"A sixties bungalow has been subtly and sensitively altered to create an elegant and warmly-toned treasure in a suburban glade. The flow of air and play of light has been masterly handled in realising a restful house that is a joy to inhabit. In the careful grafting of new elements to existing structure the architects have provided a demonstration of sustainability in action. The architect's empathy with the site and the client's needs is evident in the restrained artistry of a house that's truly at home in its natural environment." (Jury Citation)

Photography by Patrick Reynolds

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Strachan Group Architects is a multiple award-winning Auckland practice. Grounded in a specific and detailed first-hand knowledge of construction the team brings a highly developed sense of craft to the task of creating sustainable buildings with precision and elegance.

The keen sense of attention that the practice brings to the interpretation of a client’s brief is equalled by a rich and complex understanding of how to respond to the subtleties of site, the impacts of the natural environment, and the many contexts within which a building must operate. To these qualities SGA adds a precise understanding of the requirements of construction, with an advanced level of experience of prefabrication and the use of digitally controlled machinery in the fabrication of building elements under tightly controlled conditions.

SGA takes pride in it's ability to communicate ideas about building as they develop in conversation with clients, consultants and contractors. This skill has been honed in the extensive involvement the practice has had in education, where it has delivered a number of design/build projects with architecture students that have been recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects by a series of Awards.

Recognised by their peers as an innovative and exciting practice, SGA consists of a group of highly skilled people with a diverse range of complimentary skills. This flexible team is highly attuned to new developments in the building industry, appreciated by their many clients and capable of undertaking work at any scale.