De­sign notebook

Q&A with An­drew Meir­ing of An­drew Meir­ing Ar­chi­tects

HOME Magazine NZ - - Party Out The Front -

You’re more ac­cus­tomed to new builds – what did you en­joy about this ren­o­va­tion?

Al­though this project had the scale of a new-build it was struc­turally and pro­gram­mat­i­cally more com­plex than most new builds. When deal­ing with al­ter­ations, one spends a lot of time and en­ergy doc­u­ment­ing the ex­ist­ing in re­verse, but it’s the de­sign com­plex­i­ties of stitch­ing old and new that are so re­ward­ing. I love the old villa, but it was hav­ing client and coun­cil’s back­ing to do some­thing con­tem­po­rary out front that opened up ex­cit­ing de­sign op­tions.

Talk us through the restora­tion and mod­erni­sa­tion of the villa.

A lot of time was spent ex­pos­ing and restor­ing orig­i­nal tim­ber panel lin­ings that had been long cov­ered over. Al­though there was some space re­al­lo­ca­tion, much of the villa lay­out is orig­i­nal. The ma­jor­ity of change was done around the bath­rooms and tur­ret. The orig­i­nal tur­ret was ex­ter­nally ac­cessed, had no prac­ti­cal func­tion, and was es­sen­tially de­signed as a folly. In­cor­po­rat­ing the tur­ret into the func­tion of the villa was key.

One of the first things you worked on was the orig­i­nal villa roof – what where you try­ing to achieve vis­ually, and how com­pli­cated was it tech­ni­cally?

We knew we weren’t go­ing to change the orig­i­nal roof form, so it was de­cided to re-slate be­fore we even started to put pen to pa­per. The only early in­ter­ven­tion was a sky­light that strad­dles the pas­sage, bring­ing light to both the pas­sage and din­ing room. The chim­ney work formed part of the later build­ing project and was an en­gi­neer­ing feat in it­self. For earth­quake safety, the fire­place and chim­ney was de­mol­ished up to the roof line. The chim­ney ex­te­rior was then sup­ported by a lat­tice steel struc­ture that runs down to a mas­sive con­crete pad at ground level. It all seemed rather ex­treme at the time, but I think this villa de­serves the ef­fort.

What was the most re­ward­ing part of the ex­ten­sion out the front?

I re­ally en­joyed work­ing with stone again and, in this case, re­lied on it to make the ex­ten­sion feel like a land­scap­ing el­e­ment rather than a build­ing. The garage was cut into the North Head slope to achieve this and to re­tain a clear view of the villa. I am very pleased with the way that nei­ther the old nor the new dom­i­nate each other, but rather seem to sit quite com­fort­ably to­gether.

1. En­try 2. Liv­ing 3. Ter­race 4. Garage 5. Of­fice 6. Coat room 7. Laun­dry 8. Kitchen 9. Bath­room 10. Bed­room 11. En suite 12. Read­ing room 13. Din­ing 14. Pool 15. Pool ter­race

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.