Blog - Privacy at the Beach


Nothing but Concrete

Respecting History, Living in the 2000's

A Planning & Design Challenge

At the time of designing this home in 2001 a town planning change had been enacted to protect Auckland's heritage zone. Our client wanted a modern home made of concrete, non-coloured concrete inside & out. Right up our street, but in the inner Auckland suburb street this site bordered rows of wooden villas and on the other side, the rear of Auckland's Jervois Road shops which were constructed from red brick. There was a clear expectation for the new residence to be a painted weather board villa replica, complete with casement wooden joinery - a feature already rejected by the client in a previous consultant's scheme.

Our commission included the requirement for a design satisfying the client brief to gain approval from the Town Planners. If we couldn't satisfy both, the project would not proceed.

We decided to take an alternative approach to the town planning issue, researching the history of this residential inner city site over the previous hundred years. Research uncovered various uses as a factory, shop, site of the stables for the adjacent R & W Hellaby butchery's delivery horses (partial remains still exist on site), as well as being used for residential accommodation - a truly mixed-use site. We therefore presented a case to consider this site as having unique heritage - part residential, part industrial.

The approved consent allowed a residence that represented that 1840 - mid 1900's Auckland often placed commercial activity on the same site or next door to where the proprietor lived.
Remains of The Historic R & W Hellaby Butchery Stables, Herne Bay Auckland seen from the industrial styled kitchen. The remains of the brick stable structure were retained as an al fresco living area, the bricked form provides a juxtaposition to the modern form of the home.
The design referenced strong industrial (warehouse) elements, clever use of construction materials and finishes appropriately used plastered concrete block, in situ poured concrete forms including exposed columns, beams and bridges, and over-scale site glazed openings.

Fixures and fittings also an industrial aesthetic, stainless steel lighting and plumbing units which were flush mounted directly into concrete forms.
The Internal concrete stair was one structure poured in situ. The natural concrete textural finish was accented with industrial styled square stainless steel lighting units. The result of this approach for the interior fit out was creation of a gallery-esque aesthetic. Living areas were furnished with antique furniture by the original owner.
Landscaping and a complete lack of glazing to the street boundary allow the home to sit quietly in the street deflecting attention from passersby. Inside is where the party starts...

Golden Bay Cement News September 2002

The home was featured in industry publication Golden Bay Cement News September 2002


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