Square pegs can’t go into a round hole – but with clever design, they can seamlessly fit a triangular plot.
This triangular remnant of the site of a former Edwardian villa in central Wellington, sliced through by 1980s Terrace Tunnel development, sat vacant for 30 years. Our clients bid for and won the New Zealand Transit Authority tender and asked Aonui Architecture to design two townhouses for the tricky site. A couple of minor concessions by neighbours saw the resource consent approved in early 2014 and building consent soon after.
It’s a two-minute walk to the central city from the Buller St site. The first house was completed in August 2014 and the second is well-advanced. The passive solar design includes a polished concrete floor with in slab heating pipes, driven by a gas furnace, seamless sub-slab insulation, and 45° pitched roofs facing almost due north. It is clad in Calder Stewart Solar Rib trays that can carry low-profile amorphous silicon laminate PV cells to generate power.
The three-bedroom townhouses have small but sunny outdoor spaces. They provide a pied-a-terre type dwelling that fills a market niche between a standard detached house with typically impractical perimeter garden and a multi-storey apartment with, at best, a balcony.