Rising Above It All

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photos by:
January 17, 2009
Originally published in All Together Now
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  • 
  A view of the exterior illustrates how the apartments function as a series of intercutting glass boxes that overlay and lock into each other.
    A view of the exterior illustrates how the apartments function as a series of intercutting glass boxes that overlay and lock into each other.
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  Over the Bieringas’ kitchen sink, a sliver of a window provides a peek at the newly created Waitangi Park on the revitalized Wellington Harbor.
    Over the Bieringas’ kitchen sink, a sliver of a window provides a peek at the newly created Waitangi Park on the revitalized Wellington Harbor.
  • 
  A floating steel staircase ties the living area and loft together. Variegated steel tubes provide graphic punch while maintaining the apartment’s airy and open feeling.
    A floating steel staircase ties the living area and loft together. Variegated steel tubes provide graphic punch while maintaining the apartment’s airy and open feeling.
  • 
  Jan Bieringa (seated, left) hangs out with her son, Kris Bieringa (standing), Tony Hiles, Judith Fyfe, and Fyfe’s granddaughter, Phoebe Pottinger. Surrounded on three sides by glass walls, the dining room is the perfect spot to soak up the stunning views 
of Wellington Harbor and the hilly eastern suburbs.
    Jan Bieringa (seated, left) hangs out with her son, Kris Bieringa (standing), Tony Hiles, Judith Fyfe, and Fyfe’s granddaughter, Phoebe Pottinger. Surrounded on three sides by glass walls, the dining room is the perfect spot to soak up the stunning views of Wellington Harbor and the hilly eastern suburbs.
  • 
  A view of the building’s third-floor offices, formerly the Bieringas’ loft. The floors date from the building’s days as a clothing factory. “When we first moved in, I spent hours on my hands and knees pulling out carpet nails and sewing needles from the wooden floorboards,” Luit says. Now the space houses the Bieringas’ offices, plus those of other creative industries.
    A view of the building’s third-floor offices, formerly the Bieringas’ loft. The floors date from the building’s days as a clothing factory. “When we first moved in, I spent hours on my hands and knees pulling out carpet nails and sewing needles from the wooden floorboards,” Luit says. Now the space houses the Bieringas’ offices, plus those of other creative industries.
  • 
  Jan and Luit Bieringa sold their suburban house and took over a 3,000-square-foot space on the third floor of an Edwardian warehouse in Wellington, New Zealand.
    Jan and Luit Bieringa sold their suburban house and took over a 3,000-square-foot space on the third floor of an Edwardian warehouse in Wellington, New Zealand.
  • 
  All three apartments, as well as Hiles and Fyfe’s deck, open onto this open-air corridor, allowing for casual interactions between the residents.
    All three apartments, as well as Hiles and Fyfe’s deck, open onto this open-air corridor, allowing for casual interactions between the residents.
  • 
  A side view of the Bieringas’ apartment reveals its jigsaw puzzle–like composition, and its contrast with its historic base.
    A side view of the Bieringas’ apartment reveals its jigsaw puzzle–like composition, and its contrast with its historic base.
  • 
  A densely packed built-in unit divides the kitchen area from the living room, and provides streamlined storage for appliances and kitchenware. The Bieringas are avid collectors of New Zealand art; the painting to the left is by Peter Robinson, and the many photographs peppering the apartment are by important Kiwi artists Luit has championed over the years.
    A densely packed built-in unit divides the kitchen area from the living room, and provides streamlined storage for appliances and kitchenware. The Bieringas are avid collectors of New Zealand art; the painting to the left is by Peter Robinson, and the many photographs peppering the apartment are by important Kiwi artists Luit has championed over the years.
  • 
  A table in the corner of the kitchen, scattered with a collection of shells, chopsticks, and vintage ceramic photo-developing tanks, seems to jut out over the bustling street.
    A table in the corner of the kitchen, scattered with a collection of shells, chopsticks, and vintage ceramic photo-developing tanks, seems to jut out over the bustling street.
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