Treetop Guest Suite

New accomodation above an existing garage


The owners of this substantial property in Karori, wanted to provide semi-independent, apartment-style living for their family who often stay for extended periods.

The new accommodation is built above the existing garage. This solution avoided taking away garden space, and also minimised the cost of new foundations.

The original garage had a clay-tile roof matching the house – these were carefully salvaged and reused.

The new space is tucked into the gabled roof form, to keep the overall height of the extension to a minimum.

The plan is simple but generous. Access is by an external stairway, roofed and walled to give protection from the weather. There is a tiled bathroom and importantly, plenty of storage so that family can leave some belongings between visits to Wellington.

A large existing tree between the building and the street, affords some privacy for the north-facing deck and french doors. The feeling is of living in the treetops. A bank of rooflights in the slope of the roof admits morning sun and light deeper into the bedroom-living space, balanced by the dormer windows over the bed.

The house being so distinctive, we felt that the design of the new building should complement and not compete. The proportions, materials, details and colours are all designed respectfully.