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Sunday, 05 May 2013 19:42

Aumonier-Ward House

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 Aumonier-Ward House

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This was my family home when we first moved to New Zealand. A double-fronted villa located adjacent to Gribblehurst Park in Sandringham. Earlier owners hadenclosed the verandah, losing much of the modelling that such buildings possess. Shortly after our arrival myfather came from the U.K. to live with us, and it was inportant to quickly provide additionsl separate and private accommodation for him as well as more space for the family. Both my wife Claire and I needed our own home offices and our son Jonathan was being home-schooled and needed extensive space of his own. We decided on an extensive remodel, exploiting the flamboyance of the original villa and expressing our exuberance at being in New Zealand. The future looked bright.

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Aumonier-Ward House

The accommodation for my father was the easiest part of the project. An old but sound outbuilding, the size of a large garage, stood in the back garden. I converted this into a self-contained flat for my day, complete with separate bathroom and small kitchenette. The grounds were extensively planned with wgarden water features and extensive vegetable gardens.Care was taken to make maximum use of the natural sunlight - opening up the walls with added bays to capture the top-light.

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Site Plan 

These bays catch the morning sunlight -something villas are not noted for. The division between the main bedroom and the living areawas to be demolished - offering a much more extensive family area off the farmhouse kitchen. The master bedroom is then added at a second floor level and accessed from a new stair off the living space.

 

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Ground Floor Plan

The First floor, contains the new Master Bedroom and en suite  as well as a room for our son, Jonathan. The plan is cruciform, echoing the symmetry of the villa itself.

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First Floor Plan

 

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Proposed Open Plan Interior

I completed work on the studio apartment for my father by 1986 and embarked upon the construction of the modification at the end of that year. I was doing all of the construction work myself as well as maintaining a full-time job at the University of Auckland. To keep costs down I used recycled materials, obtained from the numerous demolition yards around the city (where I spent many Saturdays). We took out a second mortgage to fund the construction and then, in 1987, the Market crashed. Our first mortgage interest rate increased to 19.5% and our second mortgage to 21.5%. I began doing consulting design work (on top of the University job and the construction) to pay the bills. It was a hopeless task that took its emotional toll on the family. Late in 1987, Claire and I separated, leaving the work incomplete. I finished the work that needed to be done and moved out.

 

 

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