Jul 20, 2022 / Interiors
MJ Residence by Seear-Budd Ross Hamer

MJ Residence is a minimal house located in Wellington, New Zealand, designed by Seear-Budd Ross Hamer. The single-storey weatherboard villa is a classic style of architecture that gives New Zealand’s inner suburbs a distinctive character. As the most popular design for new houses between the 1880s and World War I, the villas are typically small and with period detailing that contributes to their traditional, timeless character. Homeowners Monique and Jonathan, who are young, creative professionals, engaged Seear-Budd Ross to renovate their early-twentieth-century villa in Kilbirnie, Wellington. They wanted to retain its charm, yet improve the layout, bring in more natural light and enjoy a warm and inviting atmosphere. Seear-Budd Ross Hamer used a refined palette of travertine and walnut to create a sense of calm throughout the home and to enhance the seamlessness of the new configuration. The selected materials add richness, warmth and texture to the otherwise clean and simple spaces.

They also help mitigate the light and glare in the kitchen, which is exposed to the afternoon sun. Snaking around the kitchen and into the dining room, the walnut joinery connects the two spaces and anchors the back of the house. The crafted radius on the open shelving exemplifies Seear-Budd Ross Hamer’s approach to detailing, which is continuously developed throughout the design. Seear-Budd Ross Hamer views the design process as being iterative. As a practice, much care is given to revisiting details to work out how the client will use their home and how each element will function over time. The renovation of this villa is cohesive and timeless. The warmth, texture and crafted detailing complements the era of the house and Monique and Jonathan’s home life. Despite a modest budget, Seear-Budd Ross Hamer created an architecture that adds value and spaces that capture the clients’ imagination and quality of life.

Photography by Thomas Seear-Budd