ASK THE ARCHITECT:
Chris Wood of Christopher Wood Architects
Chris, what’s your approach when adapting older houses?
Sensitivity and consideration to the existing typolog y; not necessarily replicating the existing, but designing an aesthetic that enhances and responds to it. Functionality for modern-day living is also important; today’s houses tend to be highly social with an emphasis on being able to incorporate outdoor living, which is a lot different to turn-of-the-century houses, which centred on street appearance.
What challenges did you get to sink your teeth into with this renovation?
The original idea for the kitchen was to have a large central island with cabinetry on the back bench. But due to planning restrictions, the rear addition needed to be scaled back, which meant that the smaller space no longer allowed for the island. In the process of re-strategising, we replaced the back cabinetry with a long work bench and a concealed scullery, and utilised the dining table as part of the kitchen.
In modern kitchens, the island often becomes the dining and social space, but we adapted the farm-cottage concept of having a dining table in the kitchen. The 3.4m table became an integral part of the house: dining table, food-preparation area, work space and social arena. It sits on the central axis of the house and operates as a hub in the way it opens out to the kitchen and living space. This solution to a ‘problem’ became a celebrated part of the design and enhanced Sarah and Danny’s way of living in bringing together a community.
What’s a key thing homeowners should consider when renovating a kitchen?
Scale – whether the kitchen is an isolated project or part of an extended renovation. If it’s solely a kitchen renovation, consider how it fits with the rest of the house. If it’s part of a larger renovation, think about the opportunity that change can bring to optimise the layout of the kitchen in relation to the rest of the house.
FROM LEFT Type 75 Maxi floor lamp by Anglepoise, $2066, cultdesign.co.nz. Ata cushion cover, $70, cittadesign.com. Vionnet Platform console, $2248, sorenliv.com. IC S2 pendant light by Flos, $1225, ecc.co.nz. Sympathy for the Devil potted plant, $80, silllife.co.nz. Beechwood bowl, $40, cittadesign.com. Comback chair by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell, $818, backhousenz.com.