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A light touch

A light touch


Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural won the 2019 Residential Alterations and Additions Architectural Design Award for his Sumner project titled ‘Esplanade Alterations’ – the renovation of a 100-year-old arts and crafts villa.


Although already renovated and earthquake repaired, the home required an alteration with more foresight and a big picture perspective. The house needed to be made suitable for modern life while also retaining and enhancing the character features of the house.

As part of Ben’s light-handed renovation, new decks, in keeping with the original style, at both levels were incorporated to allow useful outdoor living spaces and a standout black painted spiral stainless-steel staircase was added to the exterior. A front gate, incorporating design elements from the original arched windows, was inserted to give much needed transparent connection to the road frontage and engagement with the village’s beach atmosphere.

Ben said there are many elements of the home that pull at the heartstrings and helped to make it a special project.

“It’s a simple arts and crafts style villa with paired back detailing but has enough to satisfy. It also has established native plantings and a beach setting. Once you add some sharp new sculptural features that draw inspiration from that of the house, everyone starts to get a bit excited. Half of loving something is knowing it. The nostalgia of older houses and the stories they imply gives the homeowners and those enjoying the street scene a sense of comfort. ”

Judge’s said Brady had given the grand old house a new lease on life through an alteration that brings out its best.

“Restrained interior choices give it lightness and foreground the original features of the house. The entrance deftly makes a sculptural statement out of an inconveniently located tree. The house unfolds on arrival. A new spiral stair in black steel at the rear of the house juxtaposes sympathetically with the white timber walls and leads to a detached studio.”

Ben was delighted with his ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Award win and said ‘Esplanade Alterations’ was a special project from the first day he took it on.

“The building was beautiful and the setting incredible so the opportunity to enhance it was a treat. Having recognition from expert judges and my designing peers is icing on the cake and really reinforces I am on the right design path.”

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