Perhaps it is their romantic and nostalgic appearance, or their ability to transport occupants back in time. Either way, the benefits of heritage properties are plentiful, but so too are the challenges that come with restoring them.
It is in recognition of his own incredible heritage work that Allan McIntosh of Buildology was bestowed with a highly-coveted national honour - the Resene Colour in Design Award at this year's ADNZ | Resene Architectural Design Awards.
His project - based in the dream locale of O'Neill Street in Ponsonby, Auckland - involved the restoration of a beautiful, traditional villa rubbing shoulders with properties of the same ilk. Such is the intrinsic value of this collective of heritage homes, that McIntosh had to observe the existence of Auckland Council's Special Character Zoning Overlay that called for the home's aesthetic to remain in keeping with neighbouring properties.
The objective was to help the home fulfil its ultimate potential as a melting pot of historical and contemporary influences that would work in harmony. With a prohibitive existing layout hamstrung by tight spaces and a maze-like configuration, the challenge that lay ahead was not for the faint hearted.
The brief was well considered and months in the making. The owners, who had moved in six months prior to work commencing, rightly took the time to meditate on how best to evolve the distinctive property without compromising its priceless character. McIntosh was engaged in light of his impressive expertise to 'open up' the home.
Certainly the work undertaken to achieve this, along with the introduction of a full height sloping ceiling; a vibrant brick feature wall; a cornerless sliding door that merges the internal and outdoor living areas; and the transformation of an existing small living room into a main bathroom, laundry, ensuite and walk-in wardrobe for the master bedroom were all achievements in their own right. But ultimately, it was the colour work that captured the judges' hearts.
The Resene judges commented: "What a beautiful villa! The neutral palette flows effortlessly throughout to create a fresh and inviting space. It is clearly evident that precise consideration has been taken to piece together all of the stunning elements. The consistent smoky tones contrast with each other to create a beautiful and harmonious home."