Springbank Cottage


An extension to a historic cottage set in beautiful, established gardens. The cottage did not meet the needs of this growing family, but the owners did not want to create a historical pastiche. Nor did they want something slick and modern in contrast to the cottage and its surroundings.

A concept of ruined fragments emerged, the resultant design evoking the remains of an agricultural barn, with posts, partial roof forms and stone walls remaining; the new spaces an occupation of these ‘historic’ elements.

This aesthetic was greatly enhanced with the use of salvaged materials. The owners were fantastically enthusiastic and became obsessed with gathering and salvaging. The design continuously adapted to incorporate these found objects and materials: tall, timber windows from an old school; flooring from the local maternity hospital; upcycled galvanised tin. An earthen floor to the stone-clad kitchen form further echoes the vernacular techniques of the region as well as reflecting the natural, holistic philosophies of the family.

These materials give the contemporary forms of the ruined fragments a historic patina, creating warm, textural spaces entirely in keeping with the original cottage.

Related articles

Lake Pupuke House

“Slid into a tight suburban site, this house, approached through a restricted and somewhat unpromising entry sequence, expands from the front door into a series of most agreeable domestic spaces. A free plan connects a series of carefully modelled rooms to the view and the

Waitamariki House

A house on a prominent hill is sunk into the ground with stone retaining walls. Services are underground with a grass roof. Living areas are nestled into the slope in copper-roofed pavilions that open out to the view. Awards: Auckland Architecture Award (Housing) 2015

Parnell House

“It may be luxurious, eclectic, even glitzy, but there is no duplicity or deceit. Only an overriding confidence, clarity and openness of spirit…..a house whose airy opulence combines purity with luxury – cool surface, clean detailing and an abundance of pure, unadulterated space – in