Split Villa is a renovation to a villa in the Auckland suburb of Sandringham. The project involved the design of a new addition that steps gradually through three split levels down to create an easy connection from the living spaces to the landscape. The lofty spaces are enclosed with a dynamic split hip roof, sarked in cedar and punctuated with high-level windows and a faceted timber screen.
The new addition provides a new kitchen, bathroom, living room, media room, dining room and even a purpose-designed ‘G&T nook’. Each space incorporates a large amount of bespoke built-in cabinetry in walnut and warm lighting. Beneath the primary living spaces, a cellar and bike workshop were also incorporated. The retained heritage fabric of the original villa was also restored using best practice heritage principles, while also increasing its performance with all new insulation, central heating, rainwater harvesting system, grey water system and electrical upgrade. This warm family home reflects a contemporary way of living together for a young family, while responding to the geological and topographical character of the site.
The project is the first work created using the design tools generated through the creative practice PhD research of the architects. Fundamental themes developed through this research and applied in this project are: A topographic approach to planning which involves the axonometric drawing of the project at every stage of the design process. Scenographic design which sets up diagonal views and passage through orthogonal spaces, from one part of the program to another, through specifically designed frames. Design of devices that deceive the eye and reveal another optical understanding of space. By employing these ideas in the design, the Split Villa aims to create spaces which are both visually linked, but carefully composed as individual spaces in their own right.