ASK THE AR­CHI­TECT:

Chris Wood of Christo­pher Wood Ar­chi­tects

Homestyle New Zealand - - HOMES -

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.

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