Project: Yolk House
Architects: Pac Studio
Location: Auckland , New Zealand
Area: 80 m2
Completion date 2018
Photography: David St George, David Straight
Text by Pac Studio
2019 Best Design Award – Silver Award in the Colour Awards Spatial Category
2019 Dulux Colour Award: Residential Interior
This renovation of an Auckland family home is simple, warm and fun. The owners presented a common set of problems: the inner city bungalow that they owned was disconnected from the landscape, was poorly laid out and lacked space for their growing family. The response was to create a split-level addition to the home, rectifying the planning of the house and creating an easy linkage to the garden. The palette of materials used in this project came from a desire to create unusual experiences with cost-effective materials. The yellow floor reflects a warm light throughout the interior, creating the feeling of sunshine even on the most dreary winter day. Mill-finished aluminium cladding was chosen for the exterior as it allowed for fast and efficient construction, but also because it created soft reflections of the garden and the ever-changing sky in its surface.
How is the Yolk House project unique?
Sometimes our point of departure in a design is something simple, but very specific to the context. Some projects begin with a form, or a program, or specific technical requirements. This project began with a colour. YELLOW. Yellow is fun, yellow is warm, yellow is friendly. It’s radiant and calming at the same time, it reminds us of sunny days and sunflowers. There is something characteristically lovely about the colour and these are the characteristics of the clients too – a couple with two children who seem to be perpetually smiling. When we design we often try to tone the project to our client’s personality as well as their pragmatic needs and budget. In this case, their personalities always came back to these characteristics – fun, warm, friendly. Their sunny disposition adventurous spirit and love of bold colour was the basis for the design. The high gloss yellow imparts a warming reflection over the crisp white walls and the occupants. The result is a home that perpetually feels fun, warm and friendly.
What was the brief?
The bungalow that they owned was disconnected from the landscape, which made no sense considering the large size of the inner city site. The existing floor level was way higher than it needed to be, meaning that access to the garden was only possible by a steep staircase. The Yolk House was poorly laid out and lacked space for their maturing family. Most glaringly, the original bungalow had suffered an ill-conceived faux bungalow addition in the 1980’s which had exacerbated some of the planning problems, while also introducing some technical problems.
The brief was to reconfigure the existing house, remove the 1980’s homage to bungalow detailing and expand the house with a contemporary addition which captured the western light in a larger living space. Critical to this was lowering the floor level in the addition to the house and stitching the house and garden back together.
Key products used:
The key products in the project were Gib Plasterboard, strandboard floors, raw aluminium cladding and of course the Dulux two-pot paint system.
Who are the clients and what’s interesting about them?
The clients worked in creative industries and have two young daughters. They are wonderfully funny people with a great outlook on life. From the outset they wanted to the project to be fun and unusual. She works in television and he is a writer who has covered architecture and design for much of his career. They both had an existing knowledge of architecture and personally have really great eclectic taste. The clients liked our previous renovation work. Pac Studio is a multi-discipline practice, but we out started being a practice who did many renovations and we still love rejuvenating older building. Renovations allow you as a designer to riff of the existing bones and playfully reinterpret the crafted nature of old homes. The clients shared our design sensibilities, and we were happy to hear about how they wanted to live.