From the 1950's to the 1970's Beazley Homes were a favourite of Kiwi first home buyers. Founded in Tauranga in the '50's by Fred Beazley, the distinctive L shaped, timber 'kit homes' provided a solution for mass housing demand in post-war New Zealand. The idea of pre-cut timber homes quickly took off and within a short space of time more than 40 units were being sent out each week from the Mount Maunganui factory across New Zealand and overseas.
Tauranga architectural designer Will Tatton says this 1963, 105 sqm2 house was the perfect option for him and his wife when looking for a new project to call home. It was to be a personal exploration that has resulted in perfection.
'We had previously lived by the sea in an apartment that was all concrete and tiles and we knew we wanted to try something completely different. The renovations were really a forensic dissection of what was hidden behind Gib board and other traditional coverings. We took the lines that already existed and celebrated their form. What’s emerged is like an origami pattern. The shape was there all along and we added the ply and rough sawn timber beams to give it structure, we simply followed the existing natural roof lines from valley to hip to ridge.
'I really wanted to use this project to see how much timber was "too much" timber to live with. We used 3d modelling and analysis before proceeding with the renovations. We needed to get a feel for what the end result would look like and we are really pleased with that result but we didn't really know. I love the feel of the timber and the sense of enclosure it offers. It’s like a ski lodge in winter and an open wood pavilion in summer'.
The home features a wooden ceiling, wooden walls and wooden floors with large glass areas introduced to balance the wood with light, showing the wood's deep richness . The timber walls have been oiled while the floors have been waxed to ensure richness and texture. In addition, Will designed and made much of the timber furniture and cabinetry.
The next big project is completing exterior renovations which will include timber slatted rain screens that will enclose the house and soften the exterior look and feel.
'The external work will be much like adding a fly sheet to a tent. It will offer additional protection. We also intend to include an edible garden in the external cladding'.
Defign looks forward to seeing the next phase of this very personal restoration project.