Watching the densification of Tāmaki Makaurau take hold over the last decade, an adventurous couple with a long history of living on this Parnell site decided to utilise their large property in a new way. In their retirement, they had an idea for a subdivided, but shared, property. They would have their own space, while maintaining a sense of community. The result is an enclave of buildings, each unique, but connected, in form and materiality.
Our clients had raised their children in a 1947 Gummer & Ford home on the site that was previously owned, renovated and added to by Terry Hitchcock in the 1990’s. The new home – Resonant House – is a contemporary interpretation of its Gummer & Ford/Terry Hitchcock neighbour – designed to sit quietly with its terracotta predecessor.
The existing simple gable form of the Gummer & Ford heritage home is replicated on the new home, and the clay-tiled exterior is a nod to the clay pantile wall of the existing. Black stained cedar cladding, accented in copper details, sits in contrast to the pop of the fiery red-orange terracotta.
Although a relatively simple plan of modest scale, a number of subtle volumetric plays create dynamic spaces and cumulate in a dramatic high volume under the gable apex.
The site slopes gently to the north, with the house tucked snuggly into the southeast corner freeing up aspect to a beautiful city view foregrounded by mature trees. Elevated above and to the southeast, sits a historic Parnell church, where a relationship of subtlety and appropriate scale was sought.
The intention is for the house to function as either a multigenerational home, with family living independently on both levels, or a house supporting aging occupation, with capacity for live-in care on the lower level. Spaces are future proofed for mobility. Wheelchair friendly access along with a lift ensure long term occupation.
The landscaping designed in collaboration with Philp Smith of O2 Landscapes is thoughtfully integrated, intended to soften edges of the site over time as it spills over the retaining wall and planter boxes.