At barely a hundred square meters, Split House is a small sanctuary in the suburbs of Sandringham, Auckland. The project, a renovation to a villa, aimed to seamlessly blend living spaces and landscape through the addition of steps. The clients, a young family of four, are music and art lovers seeking to elevate the existing villa into a modern and more expansive abode.
The bungalow enjoys a lofty and spacious ceiling beneath a split hip roof decked in cedar wood. The dynamic roof is likewise punctured with clerestory windows, providing an overflow of natural light into the interior spaces. The addition can function as a standalone, with its own living room, kitchen and dining spaces. Each space is furnished with custom cabinetry, including a bespoke gin and tonic counter. Beneath the main spaces are a cellar and a bike shop, catering to the clients’ needs and hobbies.
Hoping to build their “forever home”, longevity and sustainability were at the core of the clients’ needs. The owners wanted to minimize waste; as such, retaining the existing house to reduce landfill was central to the project brief. Responsive to the scale, topography and geography of the site, renovation architects Pac Studio thoughtfully preserved the villa. Heritage features such as the timber archways, steel ceilings and stained glass windows were repurposed not only to pay homage to Split House’s heritage but also to uphold embodied sustainability.
In addition to retaining the original heritage of the villa, the owners were preoccupied with waste management and sustainability principles. Pac Studio opted to increase performance through a rainwater harvesting system, a more efficient insulation, central heating and electrical update.
The owners and architects strived to preserve and repurpose elements from Split House as much as they can. The kitchen was gutted and sold at a local auction website, native timber was salvaged and plasterboard was ground into landscape lime.
The timbers used are likewise Forestry Stewardship Certification (FSC) certified for both environment and worker safety. While sustainable materials and design were essential, an eco-friendly build and construction process was equally important. During construction, waste was carefully segregated to enable a more efficient recycling system.