The Stage and the Cave

Photographer: Simon Devitt


This thoughtfully renovated character villa in Auckland’s Grey Lynn makes the most of its long thin site. The villa houses four bedrooms and two bathrooms. 

Walking from the street to the front door you follow the central hallway and are led down a few steps taking you from the villa to the new addition, with a contrasting modernist aesthetic. On your left is an outdoor lounge – a terrace with an outdoor fireplace that faces the west and makes the most of the late afternoon sun. To your right is a media room and straight ahead the ceiling height increases in the open-plan living, dining and kitchen, then outside to the outdoor dining, with an outdoor fireplace and BBQ area, and a carefully considered north-facing garden. Running the length of the new addition is a lap pool. Past the kitchen is a scullery, which adds extensive storage, and additional access to the northern garden.

The design plays on the Frank Lloyd Wright concept of Compression and Release which in this design is imagined as ‘The Stage’ and ‘The Cave’. The kitchen forms part of ‘The Cave’ which anchors this room with a lower stud and is formed from walnut and granite creating a moody atmosphere. In contrast, it opens up to the double-height dining room as ‘The Stage’.

Adjoining the kitchen is the open plan living and dining room which have a 3.7m stud height, clearstory glazing and stunning two-sided fireplace. The chosen aesthetic of Mid-century modernism, reflects the clients’ favourite piece of furniture, a Clausen & Son vintage sideboard that sits facing the dining table. 

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