Jose Gutierrez Ltd 19 Light Catcher

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    José Gutiérrez
  • Client
    Carla Tewkesbury

The client approached us with the intent of creating something special for her tired Grey Lynn Villa. She loved the original detailing of the villa and desired a home with light, space and elegance that could function for 2 or more people as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the urban landscape. The site is south facing and tightly nestled in-between it’s neighbours, with no view or outlook from the property.
Although the property is unrestrained by heritage character restrictions, the original front façade of the building was maintained, the weatherboards and ornate details restored. The character and tones of the original building are referenced throughout the new exterior structure at the rear of the site. The linear patterning of the weatherboard cladding is referenced but in a vertical orientation and toned the same hue as the front. The entrance is re-imagined with a new lead-light detailed door, referencing the historical character of the house and providing hints towards the warm tones and luminescence of the interiors. The plan for the extension encompasses the length of the site, stretching to the very rear of the property. From the front door, one is greeted with an expansive view that draws the eye through the architecture and outwards to a courtyard-like garden beyond. An expansive floor to ceiling window cuts into the ceiling at the end of the hallway, sitting above a stepped pool of water cascading into an elongated pond below.
The view for the building is created within, the experience is inward-focused. The architecture and courtyard together with the calming sounds and reflections upon water, create an atmosphere of calmness, privacy and tranquility. Monolithic forms frame the courtyard, anchoring the skylights and expansive sliding doors. Composed of concrete toned with iron-oxide, the hue and mass of the forms evoke feelings of permanence that reference the history of the original building and suburb. These are further complemented by the oceanic schist stepping stones and pebbles in the courtyard. The living spaces at the rear are west-facing and oriented to harness the sun’s path as it traverses the sky. The placement of timber battens across elevated windows creates shifting patterns, illuminating the interior walls with a golden light. All of the forms, materials and tones for the interior are intentionally subdued to complement each other and reflect the natural palette of the courtyard. Black tiles line the pond, creating an illusion of depth and enhancing reflections of the building, stimulating movement and light. The varying sepia tones of the bespoke cabinetry, oak flooring, wall finishes and curtains pick up the subtle tonalities of the natural stone for the kitchen island and hearth. The dark grey veins running through the stone echo the hue of the poured concrete forms framing the courtyard. Attention is drawn to the raw beauty and texture of materials, which speak to each other and are given space to breathe.