Amazing $500k renovation of 1940s Mt Roskill state house wins top NZ architectural award

Humble beginnings don’t get much more stark than this 1940s Mt Roskill state house that has been transformed to win one of New Zealand’s most decorated architecture awards.

The top gong at the 2020 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards has gone to a house entitled “2 @ 4 in 1” designed by Madushin Amarasekera of Auckland’s Construkt Associates Ltd.

Completed on a modest budget of $500,000, the Mt Roskill house beat 150 entries from architects across the country.

But despite the contrast between how the home originally looked and its dramatic renovation, architect Amarasekera kept one fundamental aspect of the building’s 1940s purpose – community living.

Amarasekera built the house for his family and his wife’s parents to live in, and it is essentially two separate homes.

To make his vision a reality, more space was added to the original three-bedroom state house by building up.

Now the house is made up of a smaller 72sqm two-bedroom unit and a three-bedroom larger unit.

Judges said smart moves such as building upwards over existing foundations demonstrated an attempt to address the severe housing pressures of our time.

“Madushin has avoided doing the obvious thing of plonking an annex on the back of an existing home for the grandparents,” the judging panel said.

“In these Covid ‘stay at home’ times, we can see how this house would have produced not just a ‘bubble’ but instead a ‘foam’.

“A series of interlocking spaces, the home enables the two families to come together as a whānau, sharing domestic life alongside work life, while also enabling division to give each family their own space and time.

“The overall effect of these carefully interlocked horizontal and vertical spaces is village-like. This is a very sophisticated remodelling of the humble state house and we are sure it is the envy of its neighbours.”

This is the third national design award Amarasekera’s “2 @ 4 in 1” has won.

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