Villa Wars


Reality TV renovation and project management

Site: Sandringham, Auckland

Completion: 2015

Services provided:

  • Brief development
  • Masterplanning
  • Subdivision design
  • Architectural design
  • Resource consent
  • Building consent documentation
  • Council liaison
  • Consent lodgement
  • Site observation

The challenge…and how we solved it:

Being official architects for Auckland-based television series The Block may sound showbiz – and yes, principal Scott Cracknell is definitely entertaining – but the reality of reality TV is often more down to earth.

Our role was to design the homes and the relationship of each home to the others, and make sure a host of vital behind-the-scenes tasks happened as smoothly as possible – all while fitting in with a very tight filming schedule, builders, multiple tradespeople, and excitable, competing contestants.

We worked with the client to develop the brief, select the site, masterplan the subdivision, design and document the renovations and work through the consenting process with council in record time.

For series four (Villa Wars), an old house was removed from a site on the corner of Haig Avenue and Renfrew Avenue, Sandringham, in central Auckland. And four scruffy looking villas were transported on to the site to await renovations.

The contestants transformed them into smart, stylish homes that still retained their classic appeal – with bay windows and neat picket fences – while offering welcome 21st century features like attractive kitchens and bathrooms, new insulation and heating, and good flow to relaxing outdoor living areas.

The homes all commanded top prices at auction.

“We created a little bit of Ponsonby on the fringes of Sandringham. (For non-Aucklanders, that’s a good thing.)”Scott Cracknell, Principal