Jose Gutierrez Ltd 19 Earles House

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Jose Gutierrez
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Pip Maxwell
  • Client
    Joseph & Nina Earles

The building is an essay in how modern day families living on compact sites in inner city Auckland suburbs can achieve a design solution that meets and even exceeds their requirements. The client’s brief was to remodel and extend a traditional bungalow located on a 429m2 site in Grey Lynn, the requirements encompassing larger living and entertaining spaces, additional storage and parking.
The overall design solution was to maintain and refurbish the existing bungalow and use it to contain all the bedrooms and more private spaces of the home. Situated at the rear of bungalow is an unexpected white structure, intentionally abstract to contradict the forms of the original building, the front entrance located on the eastern face at the juncture between the 2 forms to heighten the distinction between the old and the new.

The extension encompasses the living and more public spaces of the home. The outcome is a space of pure architecture, with elevated ceilings, full height openings and an elongated skylight extending the length of the building, harnessing natural light and creating a sense of spaciousness on the compact 429m2 site. At the rear the elevated structure appears to be floating in a sea of green flora, the space beneath envisaged as a usable entertaining space in the warmer months that extends to the rear lawn, with additional storage behind crafted cedar battens.

The linear orientation of the cladding, the timber materials and the colour palette selected for the extension mimic traditional materials used for villas and bungalows characteristic of the suburb. The creation of high ceilings, full height windows and doors, an elongated skylight encompassing the length of the extension and inserted skylights into the original bungalow enables natural light to pervade the building, enhancing the wellbeing of the inhabitants.

The front entrance greets the visitor with an unexpected framed view of a plunge pool that is enveloped by 3 sides of the extension. The pool lends into the interior the calming properties of water and nuances gained by the interplay with reflections through the glass-lined courtyard. Timber battens framing the skylight mimic the linearity of the external cladding and mask light and shadow at differing times of day. The result is a carefully constructed piece of architecture that considers the requirements of its inhabitants and successfully optimises the use of space throughout the entire footprint of the site through creative, considered design.