From cottage to contemporary

Sitting in the half-finished mezzanine space, watching Fat Freddy’s Drop perform at Western Springs, Mike Imre could think of worse ways to spend a day at the office. “The mezzanine was designed so you could have a few drinks with friends and watch the stadium,” says the Auckland-based builder. “It really is an entertainer’s paradise.”

The four-bedroom main home and two-bedroom minor dwelling were the work of Auckland architect, Michael Cooper. He designed the larger home around the property’s original railway cottage, with an airbridge-style hallway leading to the contemporary extension. The effect is a clear transition from bedrooms to living spaces, and from old to new.

The black, rolled-steel spiral staircase makes for an unforgettable feature. “The staircase was made of large pieces of steel cut into triangles, welded together, then rolled to create the curved shape,” explains Mike. The eight-tonne structure took 12 people two days to install. For Mike, the memory is still fresh. “We had to manoeuvre it through the house with a crane. The walls and floors had already been completed, so we had to be incredibly careful not to damage anything.”

With engineered oak flooring and a designer Studio Italia kitchen, the home has a decidedly geometric, and undeniably current, aesthetic. “I think we’ve achieved a tasteful transition between the old and the new,” says the property’s owner.

Ask Mike for his favourite part of the project, and he’ll say it all comes down to the people. “Everyone got along so well,” he says.

The homeowner couldn’t agree more. “Mike and I are now great friends,” he adds. “I think that says it all.”

Location: Westmere | Auckland

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