RATA Architecture Blue and White

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Rata Fraser
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Chris Marsh, Sarah Wesley, James Wesley
  • Client
    Sarah and James Wesley

Blue and White

The challenge with villa renovations is to create something new and exciting, but also being respectful and sympathetic to the existing house.

This Ponsonby home has had various additions and alterations over the years which had culminated in a mish mash of styles, and a layout which was less than ideal. The task was to rectify the planning issues and create new amenity for the clients.

This project was essentially an interior fitout with minimal changes to the exterior. This was partly due to the heritage and special character overlays, but also because the house (externally) was in pretty good nick to start with.

The design provides a very clear delineation between old and new using explicit colour and textures. The white walls and ceilings with timber mouldings clearly belong to the traditional language of the villa, while a bold blue wall with vertical grooves and brass accents indicates the modern intervention.

Upon entry you are greeted with a white wall to the left, and a blue wall to the right. The blue wall runs the full length of the space drawing you into the kitchen and living beyond. A recess curves back into the shadows providing a place to sit and remove your shoes. This alcove has two secret doors, one leading to the guest W/C and the other to the parents’ bedroom. Beyond this alcove the kitchen presents itself as focal point for the living area.
The rear of the kitchen was conceived as an integral part of the blue wall rather than a separate element. The fridge and scullery door are integrated to further this idea. The wall curves in to receive the cabinetry. The drawer fronts and the oven are in a traditional style as a nod to the villa. The dark black stone reads as depth and shadow with pops of light veins to add interest and complexity. Glints of light from brass accents attract the eye.

The kitchen island acts a transition piece between the two eras. The vertical lines and textures are carried across from the kitchen but depicted in white to reference the villa.

Beyond the kitchen the blue wall curves back again and invites you to the stairs beyond. White steel sliding doors at the far end of the space recess into a pocket, allowing a beautiful and alluring connection to outside.

Tasteful and ambitious clients, an unerring and determined builder, and a designer with a tasteful eye culminate to create this fun and interesting project.