> What were some of the challenges you faced with this project?
1 Because the original plans were slightly out with the height-to-boundary-restrictions, we suggested Katie and Steve gauge their neighbours’ thoughts (and agreement in principle) at concept stage, before seeking resource consent.
Katie made some slight alterations in response to one neighbour’s wishes but other than that the resource process was fairly straightforward. 2 Historical (1930s) subsidence meant that parts of the original house were 80mm higher than the 2006 extension. We also wanted to retain the matai flooring. This meant that we had to re-level and re-pile, while protecting the original floor, by painstakingly hand-excavating under the house. We successfully levelled the floor, reducing the discrepancy to only about 20mm. 3 Katie designed a balustrade that was a combination of old and new. It has a white-painted, recessed strip with LED lighting to highlight the recess. The handrail, however, has a traditional profile, as suggested by Joseph McKinstry. We had to make many mock-ups of how this recess and profile would neatly turn the corner at the landing. With good collaboration between Katie and the build team on site, we got a great result. > What parts of the house are you most proud of? The stairwell: it’s a clever little dark grey box projecting out of the south gable. It allowed us to stay within the height-to-boundary envelope while creating a light-filled central stairwell. The reclaimed matai treads and the strong and unusual balustrade make it a huge statement when you enter the house. Also the eyebrow window: the master bedroom corner window has an aluminium ‘eyebrow’ which frames the window continuously on one side and acts as a solar shade. •