A state house reimagined

Taking out the Supreme title at the 2020 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards was a renovated 1940’s state house in Mt Roskill transformed into a home fit for multi-generational living.

‘2 @ 4 in 1’ designed by Madushin Amarasekera of Construkt Associates Ltd was a personal project to create two homes under one roof, one for his wife’s parents, and one for his own. With a modest $500K budget to work with, Madushin needed to create a level of separation between the families while still allowing for regular moments of interaction.

With a prior renovation by the previous owner seeing the humble state house expand with an additional bedroom and single detached garage, Madushin utilised the homes existing footprint to accommodate his family’s needs. Instead of expanding the home out, in order to retain the backyard, they built up.

Extra ground floor space has been created over the area previously reserved for the single garage. A gabled vertical extension pops up through the bungalow’s roofline and flares out to provide dormer windows to the bedroom and bathroom on the new upper story.

Upon entering the home you’re met with a detailed suspended, top-lit, stairway which stitches together the new and old spaces. With its steel framework, recycled native timber treads, open risers, and draping plants, this space brings light down into the centre of the ground floor plan and provides a dramatic sense of the verticality of the project from the interior.

To maintain an authentic connection to the ‘ghost’ of the former state house, native timber extracted from the original house has been painstakingly preserved. From studs repurposed as stair treads, to cabinetry and recycled floor boards, while glimpses of the homes previous exterior walls can now be seen in interior spaces.

The judges were impressed with Madushin’s innovation and transformative approach to design which awarded him the coveted Supreme title.

“Madushin has avoided doing the obvious thing of plonking an annex on the back of an existing home for the grandparents. A series of interlocking spaces, this home enables the two families to come together as a whānau, sharing domestic life alongside work-life, while also enabling division to give each family their own space and time.”

“The overall effect of these carefully interlocked horizontal and vertical spaces is village like. There is a flow where the extended family encounter each other, but also edge spaces of privacy and retreat, the planning works very hard to achieve this rich variety of spaces. This is a very sophisticated remodelling of the humble state house and we are sure it is the envy of its neighbours,” said the judging panel.

Along with the Supreme title, Madushin took out the   national 2020 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design   Award for the Residential Alterations and Additions category, as well as the Residential Interiors category.

Photography by Calvin Hui and Madushin Amarasekera.