Preserving the heart

Preserving the heart add

The Beazley is an iconic 60’s New Zealand wooden affordable house. At this year’s ADNZ|Resene Architectural Design Awards, Will Tatton of Will Tatton Architecture was awarded the 2018 Residential Interiors Architectural Design Award for his work conserving and transforming a traditional Beazley home in Tauranga.

The revamp of this standard prefabricated home should give hope to those looking for something extraordinary on a budget – the original home was purchased by Will and his family, and then extensively renovated on a $300,000 gst inclusive budget.

“This award means an awful lot to me, not just because it is great to win an architecture award of this calibre, but also because I think it puts the spotlight on what is achievable on a budget,” says Will.

“Too many times, we see houses celebrated that are completely out of reach for the majority of New Zealanders. I think it is wonderful that ADNZ has awarded this relatively affordable and humble abode with such a prestigious award. As designers we need to address, and be conscious, of housing affordability issues, and the role we play in helping to bring costs down through clever design. Renovations are more expensive per square metre than building new, however if you choose the right project where you can retain valuable existing parts of a building, it can bring the cost down. It is also more sustainable too, as it is effectively ‘recycling’ the embedded energy and carbon. I think these are some of the key reasons those on a budget should consider renovating,” says Will.

Will chose to line the walls of the Beazley with reasonably priced cedar ply, and the existing tawa floors were finished with an oil/wax mixture. Rough sawn Lawsons cypress roof beams from the local mill have been installed in the living room. To give a feeling of space and light to this 105m2 house, large 2.4 high stacking sliders have been fitted. A new flat polycarbonate covered pergola was added to the existing deck to provide shelter and to open the interior spaces in all weathers.

A definite feature of the house are the oiled-cedar ply sheets with varying grains and visual joins that line the walls. A dedicated building team spent many hours crafting the walls to ensure they met the design specifications.

“Arriving at 7am over four months during construction, the two builders were on site until sometimes as late as 1am fitting and refitting ply sheets on external corners. This delightful detail is appreciated every day in the very visual craftmanship” says Will.

Using New Zealand sourced timber was important to Will, who has a passion for growable materials.

“We grow our own Pine in the King Country, and for some of our past houses, we have been fortunate to mill our own timber. In the case of the Beazley, it was of prime importance that we used materials connected to the land, along with preserving the existing heart Rimu weatherboards. The weatherboards are well weathered, so in order to help them last the distance, we have used an ‘unskinned’ sun and rain screen that lets us protect the wood but still see through to the original boards. It’s pretty special,” says Will.