Onehunga Tai Ho House


Onehunga, Auckland


Private owner



The house at no. 7 Symonds Street in Onehunga was built c.1860 and is situated on a large 3176m² property in the company of a number of large scheduled trees.


Our client's brief was to re-arrange internal spaces to the east 'wing' of the house to comprise a new kitchen, dining room and bathroom. Work included an extension to the north verandah and a porch to the south increasing the total area of this wing. The proposed changes provide much needed amenity to the property - principally, a more family oriented kitchen area to take full advantage of its northerly aspect.

Originally owned in 1884 by businessman Charles Suttie who operated a nearby tannery - now known as Suttie’s Estate. Like many of its era and local prominence, the house has evolved over time with additions and modifications, including the 1920's verandah and south bay window and the 1980's north dormer windows. The modifications are relevant and important as markers of the architectural history pertaining to the house.

Salmond Reed Architects has worked with the scale and proportion of the existing verandah to achieve a striking aesthetic improvement. Owner convenience and comfort has improved by providing spaces which open out directly onto the north facing outdoor living area.

Symonds St 01
Symonds St 04

The proposed additions and alterations have been carefully and sympathetically designed to be consistent with the original house in terms of form, scale and use of materials. The north addition is simply an extension of the north verandah. The roof line of the south porch extension follows the language of the lean-to addition typical of villas.

In terms of materials, the existing board and batten cladding has been retained and re-used on the east and south walls. TG&V vertical shiplap cladding clads the east end of the verandah extension and the south porch extension, an entirely appropiate 'secondary' material in the hierarchy of cladding. The proposed north & east fenestration includes timber windows, tall & narrow to reflect the proportions of the house.

Symonds St 02

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