Big Ideas Small Site

This speculative project presented all the challenges a developer can give an architect. The site, an “infill”in a suburban street, was tight and constricted (400 m2) and overlooked on three sides. The brief demanded maximum floor area, well integrated exterior space and a well considered design with market appeal. Spatial requirements were conventional, but the project required considerable exploration in order to accommodate a new residence of 260 m2, without compromising the quality of interior, exterior space or contravening the Upper Hutt District Plan.
Pilbrow Design Group
enjoyed the challenge.

To create interesting architectural composition and to prevent the two-storey volume from appearing dominating on a small site, the building is “broken” down into elements each expressed with a different material. The materials chosen reflect the surrounding buildings within this mixed era and densely occupied suburb.

Set down around 1.5 m from the street, the garage does not overshadow the elevation, rather, the composition of form and materials combined with the overhanging eaves, create a pleasant street façade, not dissimilar in scale to its neighbours.

The Entry, which could be lost in this level change, is instead emphasised with terraced landscaping and the overhang of an upper storey element. Similarly, the butterfly roof emphasises elevation height at the front and rear creating a dynamic form and maximising sunlight penetration. It is the inter-relationships between both the interior volumes and the exterior spaces that create the most successful sense of space and light on this small site.

The living spaces, positioned to rear of the site, maximize privacy and sun, are double height and surrounded by perimeter glazing creating a sense of space and integrate both interior and exterior,  upstairs and downstairs. These connections are emphasised by an interior balcony, which overlooks the dinning space. Positioned within an occupiable landing at the top of stairs, this balcony integrates a private seating area with the main living area below. In addition the   void space between provides circulation and light. Such openness enables the heart of the interior to be connected to both the private areas of the exterior, and the town of Silverstream beyond. These volumes, carefully composed to complement the street, open to provide interior and exterior connections which create light and  spacious architecture within a tight and constricting site, without compromising the demands of brief or budget.

Pilbrow Design Group

The Pilbrow Group was established this year as a collective which brings together ‘in’ studio talents of architects, interior designers, CAD design and project management. Whilst members of the group collaborate on many projects they each retain a degree of flexibility which enables them to work independently of the group structure.

The Pilbrow Design Group Architects, comprising of 7 members, draws upon International Architectural education and experience with many awards to their credit. Based in Wellington, the group’s experience offers innovative design to residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings. As a multi cultural group the endeavour is to deliver fresh, innovative, functional and aesthetically pleasing design to their clients. Pilbrow Design Group utilises a variety of tools from hand made models to the latest computer technology to assist clients to visualise the end result.

Client: Straightline Construction Ltd.

Architect: Davor Mikulcic. Dipl. Arch. (Sarajevo) ANZIA.
Pilbrow Design Group
Telephone: 04 238 9467

Main contractor:
Contact: Tom Hunter
Straightline Construction Ltd.
Upper Hutt
Mobile: 021 507 977

Roofing and Cladding Manufacturer:
Silbery Longrun Ltd.
Upper Hut
Telephone: 04 526 9343
Corrugated Colorsteel®.40mm
Colour: Karaka

Roofing Contractor:
Straightline Construction Ltd.