Jonathan gives a typical Ponsonby villa a complete turn around

28 Mar 2019

Before Jonathan Smith of Matter Architects came around, this home in Auckland’s posh Ponsonby neighbourhood looked like any other worker’s cottage typical of the area and era: symmetrical façade, central steps that lead up from the street, framed by painted timber eaves, deck and balustrade.

The back end, too, was typical – cellular and dark – and this was where the majority of the bulk of the renovation was to be done. Space in the home was tight, and the plan was to extend the back of the house to create more open living spaces that related to the yard, views and field beyond.

“It made sense to extend the house in a way that referenced the history of the area and the home itself,” says Jonathan. “Rather than trying to extrude the existing form and materials to cover the extension, we decided to celebrate the change and embrace a saw-toothed roof form using exposed steel framing and concrete floors – reminiscent of factories of the time.”

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villa renovation, deck, outdoor living, outdoor dining, concrete floors, black roofing, exterior

The villa’s extension bridges the gap to the outdoors through an open plan design. The saw-toothed metal roofing, flashings and rainwater heads are in Resene Baltic Sea while the timber pergola structure has been painted Resene All Black. Inside, the concrete is sealed with Resene Concrete Clear.

The extension is essentially open plan but recognises the central hallway with rooms on either side. The back end of the extension is staggered, creating outdoor ‘deck rooms’ in the missing area of the plan,” he explained. “The idea was continued into the rear yard, where a central path leads right to the back fence and out into the natural surroundings, with ‘grass rooms’ on either side.”

house exterior, renovated villa, outdoor living, timber pergola, yellow interior, deck

The back extension of the villa provides fluid continuity between indoors and outdoors. The timber pergola has been painted Resene All Black, the exposed steel posts have been painted Resene Blaze, the metal roofing, flashings and rainwater heads are in Resene Baltic Sea, and the rear-facing masonry (far right) is in Resene Atmosphere. Inside the house, Resene Butter warms the walls.

Jonathan says that the result created an enclosure that appears to erode. “The impression becomes stronger as you walk through the home from what was the existing home, to the new open plan, to the semi-closed decks and finally to the open yard.”

outdoor living, deck, open plan living, concrete flooring, renovated villa, black roofing

The multi-level flooring of the extension creates boundaries to define areas within the open plan space. The masonry walls have been protected with Resene Concrete Clear, the exposed steel posts are painted Resene Blaze and the metal roofing, flashings and rainwater heads are in Resene Baltic Sea.

When it came to colour, Jonathan says they wanted to celebrate the materials and help create a sense of identity in each space.

“We chose Resene Blaze for the steel framing to reference the aged version of the material, which was often seen within the factories of yesteryear. The masonry was protected in Resene Concrete Clear to reflect its honesty and purpose – a separation for privacy, view, and sound.”

“The kitchen and dining areas were warmed with walls in Resene Butter and the contrasting cabinetry looks crisp in Resene Dusted Blue, bridging the gap between the concrete and GIB® palettes.”

kitchen, renovated villa, grey cabinets, grey kitchen, yellow dining room, yellow interior

Cabinets in Resene Dusted Blue contrast the Resene Butter walls in the kitchen and dining areas.

For the rest of the home, which consists of more private areas, bedrooms and bathrooms, Jonathan wanted to create a sense of serenity and intimacy for the homeowner – and Resene Tasman fit the bill. The street façade was also freshened up with Resene Rice Cake, a warm off-white, which Jonathan likes for its delicacy.

grey bedroom, bedroom, master bedroom, green bedroom, resene tasman, renovated villa

To provide a sense of peace and serenity, Jonathan picked Resene Tasman for the master bedroom.

“Designing with a mix of heritage and new architecture always provides challenges,” he says, “but we love finding solutions and working within these parameters.”

Jonathan added that colour is a great ally when approaching these type of projects. “It can lift certain restraints, allowing creativity to flow, make connections between old and new, and allow a small space to have defined purposes.

“We used all these colour tools within this project to ensure our clients loved their new home.”

renovated villa, villa exterior, white villa, white exterior, resene rice cake, white house

Resene Rice Cake on the façade of the villa looks fresh while respecting the heritage of the home.

See more gorgeous work from Jonathan and his team on Matter Architects’ website.

designer Jonathan Smith, John Holley, Matter Architects
photos Simon Devitt

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