John Mills Architects

Ngahuru Home

The clients had spent a long time in a delightful coastal home we renovated 20 years ago. They called us 3 years ago and said they wanted to “change the station”.

We looked around the Te Aro basin for a few months for a large warehouse to accommodate their home, art studio and a generous garage… this one came up, it was the perfect canvas to create their urban retreat/home.

Asbestos removal, re-strengthening, fire rating and town planning issues were resolved in order to allow us to create this unique wellington home.

The architecture celebrates the buildings’ history, strong form and generous volumes. Elegant double-PFC portals were placed within the existing structural bays and cloaked with an iteration of our ply “woven pacific ceiling”.

Along with most other finishes the ceiling is in subdued natural/industrial hues, allowing the owners’ art collection to shine.

The original building form was sculpted to create two generous outside rooms, allowing the owners engage with the city in the sunshine and starlight. These interventions also allow the domestic siberian-larch cladding to contrast with the black plastered original building’s structure

A hand textured natural plaster was selected for finishes to the insulated interior walls, along with cool colours and complementary timber features.

The patina of the original stairs and restored tawa timber floor include all the dings, stains and burn marks that tell of the working life of this building.

With new apartments sprouting up in the vicinity, we have included banks of skylights and splashes of coloured glass to imbue the interior with ever changing light patterns. Upon arriving home, one is secure, relaxed and enchanted within this urban whare.

They no longer hear the waves and smell the sea as they awake. However the family can now tell whether the wind in a southerly or northerly, simply by whether they can detect the aroma Havana or L’affare coffee roasting!

Turn the music up. I like this new station.