Two city townhouses designed by architect Paul Izzard feature black-stained cedar cladding and natural stone

High-end Parnell townhouses with contemporary architecture, outdoor living spaces, black-stained cedar and natural stone tile exterior
Story by: Colleen Hawkes
The monolithic shape of this townhouse building was apartment, architecture, building, condominium, elevation, facade, home, house, real estate, residential area, black
The monolithic shape of this townhouse building was determined by the need to maximise the space and meet local regulations aimed at preserving key view corridors and sunlight. In addition to the fixed screens, the stepped design of the building adds visual interest to the exterior. The design is by Paul Izzard.

There are advantages to developing the last available site in a dense urban area. There are no surprises in terms of the neighbouring buildings, and the view can never be built out.

But that doesn't mean a project is not challenging, especially when the site is steep, long and narrow, and surrounded by apartment buildings from a different era, as was this case with this site in a sought-after suburb close to the city.

Designer Paul Izzard says the site had languished for more than a decade, after the original plans for two townhouses were put on hold. The floor slab and basement were built, but the work had not progressed any further. Izzard was commissioned by a new developer to complete the design.

"With property prices at a premium in this suburb, it was essential to maximise every square inch of the site," the designer says. "This helped to dictate the shape of the building, as did the need to comply with local government regulations that had changed considerably over the 10 years. It was like working with a 3-D version of the height-to-boundary restrictions. Key views to the harbour and volcano summits needed to be retained from various points, not just from the site."

Izzard says all these factors meant the building acquired a monolithic form that needed to be minimised visually.

"Introducing contrasting materials and interesting textural elements was a way to reduce the building's visual impact. Vertical black-stained cedar boards are teamed with a natural stone tile.


This contemporary townhouse designed by Paul Izzard features architecture, countertop, floor, house, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, white
This contemporary townhouse designed by Paul Izzard features a galley-style kitchen with a large island and a recessed mirrored splashback on the wall behind.

"The stone helps to anchor the narrow end of the building facing the street.

"We also introduced several laser-cut powdercoated metal screens coloured black and stone. These appear on the gates to each townhouse, and on the exterior of the building. They create a layering effect that is a little different to the timber slats that are commonly used as screens. And they give the building a slightly Mediterranean look that complements the sea views and neighbouring palm trees, reminiscent of the south of France."

Eyebrow awnings also help to give the townhouses a sense of identity, and they provide shade and shelter to the entries to each unit.

To provide privacy, each townhouse has a separate gated entry. The front unit is also higher, so the living area and patio are on a different level to the rear unit.

"A fire wall between the units extends out past the end of the building, which also helps with privacy," says Izzard.

The outdoor living areas are on the northwest side of the building, which ensures they benefit from the sun. The open-plan living areas are also positioned for the sun. Planter boxes on both terraces provide greenery that helps to soften the built environment.

Indoor-outdoor living in this high-end townhouse designed by architecture, cottage, facade, home, house, property, real estate, siding, window, gray
Indoor-outdoor living in this high-end townhouse designed by Paul Izzard is provided by large terraces with space for dining tables and seating areas. Greenery helps to soften the terrace of the townhouse.

Spectacular views of the harbour to the northeast are also maximised from the living areas of both units.

On the inside, the interior architecture continues the contemporary look. Solid oak floors flow through the living areas. The kitchens, designed for entertaining by Bespoke on Khyber, feature sleek, white lacquered cabinets. The monochromatic interior colour palette extends to a black-stained timber bar top in one unit and a black stone benchtop in the other.

The design provides flexibility, so rooms can be used in different ways. The lower unit, for example, features four bedrooms and a second living room, or media room. This room could also function as a fifth bedroom if required. There is also room to install a lift in the future.

Each townhouse has a double garage on the basement level, with internal access.

Feb 02, 2015

Credit list

Designer
Paul Izzard, Paul Izzard Design (Auckland)
Kitchen and vanity manufacturer
Trendwood Kitchens
Doors and windows
Ascot Aluminium
Kitchen cabinets
Lacquered
Other tiling
Artedomus, European Ceramics, Heritage Tiles
Fireplace
Green Gas
Kitchen designer
Hayley Dryland, Bespoke on Khyber
Cladding
Cedar from Herman Pacific
Door and window hardware
Allegion
Flooring
Tiles by European Ceramics; solid oak from Timber Floor Solutions
Paints and varnishes
Resene
Heating system
Mitsubishi Heat Pumps
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