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This Former Garage Is Clutter Free

By Dwell @dwell
Modern home with brick base and cedar rain screen on top level

The Stradwick House by Space Division is clad in brick on the base, and a cedar rainscreen covers the top level. 

Project  Stradwick House Architect  Space Division

“It wasn’t your usual two-car garage,” says Space Division’s Marc Lithgow of the 1980s brick structure that occupied a sloped lot next to a white wooden manor in the leafy Auckland, New Zealand, suburb of Mount Albert. Thirty years on, Lithgow’s clients—a builder, his wife, and their two children—bought the land along with the garage. 

They requested an efficient, modest-sized family home and wanted to move quickly, so Lithgow opted to use the existing structure, which had been dug into the slope. Rigorous local planning laws would have made building from the ground up difficult. By also using the original foundation, Lithgow completed construction of the new 1,300-square-foot house in just nine months. He peeled off the roof of the garage and stripped the brick walls, adding large windows and a gable roof to create a second story in the eaves. Downstairs is an open-plan living space along with two bedrooms and a bathroom; upstairs is a loft-like master bedroom, plus an office and another bathroom. 

The layout resembles a Rubik’s Cube in its technical precision. The two bathrooms are stacked on top of each other next to the main stair; downstairs, the shower slots underneath the stairwell where the ceiling cuts away on an angle. Throughout the house, the clutter of family life disappears inside oak-faced cabinetry, while technical aspects such as the heating system are squeezed into the narrowest of recesses. 

New Zealand home has double height ceiling with Moooi pendant lamps above the dining area

Pendant lamps by Moooi are suspended from the double-height ceiling.

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