What do you do when you have to redesign two separate houses that share a common platform, while staying true to the feel of their neighborhood? Create a design that allows the houses to stand alone, but still complement each other well.
Athfield Architects were tasked with redesigning the houses at 25 and 27 Williams St. in Takapuna Beach, New Zealand, into what is now known as The Takapuna House. With No. 25 at the top of the lawn that opens up to the Takapuna beachfront, they wanted to retain the “Bach Era” landscape. Staying true to the landscape pays homage to both the public space and the fact that it’s a historic house type that is rare in the region. However, they also had to figure out a concept that worked for No. 27. What they chose to do was to link the sites to each other by using a consistent landscape treatment and opening the sites up to each other.
In keeping with the landscape, the properties will retain the trees on each end of the combined site and the two outbuildings on the front section. Weathered hardwood paneling present in the existing landscape with concrete bases allows the houses to both merge with the land while being their own defined objects within it. In addition, an extended pathway was created to link the two main houses.
In total, there will be three main house forms within the combined area of the two existing dwellings. No. 25 is significantly larger and functions as the main house, with No. 27 and its minor dwelling as ancillary dwellings at opposite diagonals on the site. The houses within the complex seem to be confining because they are placed and arranged to conceal a lot from the public approaches, however, the interior is the exact opposite. There are folding and sliding components that allow the inhabitants to change things around to suit their needs. With great pictures from photographer Simon Devitt, you’ll get a much better idea of how great a job Athfield Architects did with The Takapuna House.
What is amazing about the overall design is that the properties still fit well with the neighborhood because of their modest scale and because they’re rarely seen all together. So if you’re interested to see how two properties on a common site can be redesigned to fit both the neighborhood and the owners’ needs, take a look at the Takapuna House.
For more info, visit: Athfield Architects