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Dual purpose

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Now you see it, now you don't – by day this remodelled bedroom becomes a sleek, self-contained home office


Space is at a premium in most city homes, so it makes sense to maximise what you have. The notion of a spare room, for example, is an idea that may well have had its day.

This doesn't mean you can't cater to extra guests, however. As this project shows, it's possible to take a cue from Japanese homes, where living spaces can be changed according to need.

The house, which has been extensively remodelled by architect André Hodgskin, already has a guest suite, but the owners wanted to be able to provide additional beds if required. They also wanted a home office area.

The solution was a dual-purpose room on the second floor of the house that can be an office by day and a bedroom at night.

"This makes it a very versatile space," says Hodgskin. "With an ensuite bathroom, it is effectively a third suite."


To provide a greater floor area, the architect removed a gallery passage that ran beside the floor-to-ceiling windows. This also allowed more light into the room, and made the most of an attractive northeast view over a courtyard. The new circulation route to the guest suite runs alongside the opposite wall, and can be concealed from the room by a large, white, drop-down screen.

At one end, the room is now open to a new sculptural staircase and double-height atrium. Further visual continuity between the two floors is created by a freestanding cabinet, which appears as an extension of the chimney element in the living room. Shelving and a small desk area can be closed off as required. An additional mobile desk and chair can be wheeled into the space.

Wall cabinetry, similar to the freestanding unit, conceals the foldaway bed and a wardrobe.

First published date: 15 May 2011

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Credit List

Architect André Hodgskin, Architex New Zealand (Auckland)
Builder Eagle & Franich Construction
Paints and varnishes Resene
Carpet Cavalier Bremworth Exemplar in Dymaxion
Bathroom tiles and vanity Italian Stone