Winner NZIA Local Award 2013

Urbane and sophisticated clients inspired by New York lofts requested that their circa 1924 Arts and Crafts house be given a makeover 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. The network of small rooms was removed to create a series of elegant, light filled interconnected living spaces opening solely to the garden at the southern end of the house while an evening lounge at the northern end connects to both the garden and the street.

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 show case the owners collection of art and furniture.

Robin O'Donnell Architects
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House of Steel and Light

About the

Robin O’Donnell Architects is a boutique practice specializing in residential architecture.

We are a New Zealand Institute of Architects registered practice based in Auckland.

We are passionate about architecture and in trying to obtain the best results for our clients. We address both their practical requirements and provide them with an uplifting living environment. We work on a wide range of projects and budgets.

We enjoy what we do and attempt to impart this sense of joy to our clients by involving them fully in the whole process of designing and building their home.

Range of Services:

  • Pre-purchase inspections
  • Site Assessment Analysis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Presentation Drawings and Models
  • Resource Consent Applications
  • Construction Documentation
  • Construction Observation
  • Project Management
  • Interior Design
  • Furniture and Equipment Selection