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New Zealand Home & Building, October-November 1985

Making an Entrance

page 61

Making an Entrance

A conventional weatherboard and tile hip-roof bungalow takes on a new look with this entrance-conservatory addition. Not only does it add appeal from the road, but its glass roof and ceramic tiled floor make for an enticing and practical entry-way.

page 62

A steeply-pitched glass roof attached to the side of a very conventional weatherboard and tile hip-roof bungalow may appear the least promising of juxtapositions.

The fact that on this home it works well, both aesthetically and practically, reveals possibilities not always recognised for the improvement of this type of home.

The home was quite typical of the genre: smallish, pretty well square, lacking sufficient glass areas and therefore light, and built to face the street rather than a pleasant view and the sun.

The boldness of the treatment of the entrance-conservatory reflects the boldness of the remodelling plan which has in stages seen the house made private, turned to face sun and view from a light and airy interior and increased significantly in size relatively economically.

Architect Norm Kircaldy says the straightforward form of the house type lends itself readily to alteration.

"The nice hip roof with a flat soffit all the way around is something that you can do quite a lot with," he explains. "You can increase space by moving walls out under the soffits, for example."

But he stresses the need to respect the existing house form, and feels the entrance-conservatory works because of the contrasts between roof pitches and the solidity of tiles against the openness of glass.

He was fortunate, perhaps, that the owners had confidence that his suggestion of the steep glass roof was a workable one.

This confidence was established by the success of his plan for the garage and entrance to the property. Originally designed so that cars would drive straight from the road into the garage, he turned the plan 90 degrees and drew in a car-court.

Cars now enter the property through a gate and turn right into the garage across the car-court, which has become a private area with almost the effect of a courtyard.

The architect and the owners agreed that "something quite bold" was called for in the entrance to the house and that it admit light to one of the darker parts of the house.

Existing Plan

Existing Plan

The original entrance opened straight into a hallway which at the opposite end opened directly into the lavatory — not always the most attractive feature of a house.

Now the entrance is through a light but warm timber, glass and tile room directly into the living room. Across the living room is a picture window opening on to the view, making an enticing entry-way.

Timber — mainly cedar and douglas fir — was chosen for its warmth. Metal framing for the roof glass was considered, but timber won on its warmth, with a compromise achieved by the use of metal flashings on the outside to reduce the need for regular maintenance.

Developed Ground Floor Plan

Developed Ground Floor Plan

The tiles on the floor were specified mainly for their visual warmth, but pro-duced a bonus in the shape of real warmth. During the day they soak up heat from the sun and store it as a heat bank drawn on in the cool of evening.

The success of the entrance-conservatory has prompted Mr Kircaldy to adopt a similar steep glass roof theme for the design of several detached spa pool buildings which have been just as successful.

Admitting light into the once-dim interior of the house was achieved in the living room by opening it to the entrance conservatory, and in the kitchen by open ing it into a family room.

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Developed Lower Floor Plan

Developed Lower Floor Plan

The family room is a new extension of the original house. Beneath it is the master bedroom suite and toilet and changing facilities for an outside swimming pool.

The lower level is excavated back under the original house and opens on to a private back garden and the pool and its surrounds.

Above, the new family room takes full advantage of a view to the Hauraki Gulf.

A galley kitchen has an eye-level oven, refrigerator and pantry on its back wall. Opposite is the bench unit, across which is the family room and the view beyond.

Children or guests in the family room can be part of activity in the kitchen without being underfoot.

Extensive use of white makes good use of light admitted through large windows in the outside wall of the family room.

And the continuing of the timber theme of the conservatory through both the family room and kitchen maintains the warm atmosphere that now pervades the entire house.