Moments like this, Herne Bay

A series of fortunate events combine to create a wholly wonderful experience.

If life is made up of moments, this Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland alteration and extension project might be a metaphor for it. The first happy happening was a serendipitous run-in that saw Mike Hartley of Lloyd Hartley Architects get chatting to one of the homeowners at a party, only to discover he and his wife were in the market for someone just like him and his practice partner Ben Lloyd. “And we’d just received our brand spanking new business cards that very morning, so it was like, ‘Well yes, I’ve got our business card — give us a call!’”

The homeowners and their young children had been living in their Herne Bay property’s existing 1960s home for several years when they met Mike — long enough to know what was great about the sloping, west-facing site overlooking Cox’s Bay (interesting topography, an unbelievable vista), what they appreciated about the house (its sturdy brick-and-tile structure) and what they wanted to change (the poky rooms, the lack of connection to the outdoors, the unfortunate garage doors that greeted you when you reached the end of the long driveway).

“It was about engaging with all the views and the sunset out to the west, but also trying to connect to the hillside, so we had intimate moments as well as great expanses,” says Ben.