metropol » old » architecture

Tag: architecture

Sumner’s Esplanade

Esplanade’s Exceptional Newcomer: Sumner’s Esplanade

The renovation of this 1900’s arts and crafts style house on Sumner’s Esplanade is a favourite project of Ben Brady, from Linetype Architectural.


Sumner’s Esplanade


The result has exceeded the client’s expectations: they described the lifestyle sought but weren’t prescriptive, leaving Ben plenty of space for ideas. Ben says the outcome is something that might always have been there. “It essentially respects the existing house, but transports it to 21st century living.”  The exterior is finished in white to let the architecture speak for itself and the addition of a first-floor deck is paint-finished to stay in harmony. An external black painted stainless steel spiral staircase incorporates the ladder-style details of the original windows, referencing early 20th century French design. The front entrance design features a stunning painted stainless-steel gate and highlights the existing sculptural ‘bonsai-on-steroids’ tree.

The challenge was fitting the desired living into the footprint. “It looks like a large building but is really not,” Ben says.
Internally, colour is pared back: white spaces balance timber while its orientation to the sea is enhanced with accents of blue. The high stud exalts the coffered ceiling, which in turn defines the spaces beautifully, with an existing beam finding a second purpose as a frame.
Ben comes to architecture from a background of painting, sculpture, music and sheetmetal working. “Architecture is a great mix of business, my trade, and art. I always design buildable homes, understanding how they will be constructed.” The construction firm, New View Construction, specialises in new, particularly hillside properties, and owner Steve Pike says this renovation was a unique opportunity. “We pride ourselves in our top quality craftsmanship but this renovation also required a respect for heritage and history.”
Ben says, “This house looks as good close up as far away”.


Sumner’s Esplanade


Steve is thrilled with the exterior deck and staircase. “It was a huge task, but the result reflects perfectly the property’s style: additional external living space integrated to inside living, plus a connection to ground floor living and outdoor spaces. The windows are another highlight, 21st century double-glazing in timber sashes replicating the original design era. “Working with Ben and the contractors was a pleasure, and I’m delighted with the completed construction, a genuine heritage property providing 21st century living. I know the owners will enjoy many happy years in the home.”

Tony van der Plas of Timber Tru Ltd joiners has enjoyed working with Ben again, helping to bring another of Ben’s visions to life in making the kitchen, laundry, ensuite, entertainment units and wardrobes for this project. “The use of solid American White oak bench tops (in particular the large 80mm thick angled island top weighing in at around 85kg), and shelving with the white cabinetry looks great, and the detail of matching the on-bench cabinetry doors with the window style makes it blend with the outside walls. We look forward to more projects with Ben in the future.”



New View Construction

Phone: 027 589 2700


Phone: 03 389 2986



Architectural Renaissance

Architectural Renaissance

The discourse of psychologists and experts in disaster recovery from all around the world gives rise to one very sobering reality; attempting to quantify or qualify the ‘long tail’ of the recovery period following the immediate ‘life and limb response’ is tantamount to asking, ‘how long is a piece of string?’


Architectural Renaissance
The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct received an Interior Architecture Award in the NZIA Architecture Awards 2018.


Yes, it’s true; Christchurch has a long way to go, but the metamorphosis of Christchurch’s architecture is palpable. In a state of evolution, the Garden City’s architectural typology is nothing short of distinct. Marrying heritage and contemporary is no mean feat, but we are witnessing the rebirth of a cosmopolitan city that will be characterised by low rise buildings with personality.  New building facades are playing with eye catching angles, colours and materials – a welcome digression from the archetypal concrete and stone buildings previously adopted in the city. The Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, a rebuild ‘anchor project’ designed by a consortium of Warren and Mahoney Architects, Opus Architecture and Cox Architecture, offers an exceptional glimpse of what is possible when innovation and ingenuity combine.

Rubbing shoulders with some equally grandiose identities including the Isaac Theatre Royal and the Piano Centre for Music and the Arts. ‘The Piano’ stands in all its elegant and philanthropic glory in the new performing arts precinct and is ushering in a new era of architecture in the city.  The Deloittes Building on Cambridge Terrace continues to make waves. Greatly influenced by the Ōtākaro/Avon River, its rippling and very distinctive façade has set a welcome precedent for new generation builds.

Architectural photographer Dennis Radermacher has a first-hand experience of the emerging city and has come to enjoy the constant trickle of new buildings that add pieces of the puzzle to a somewhat dishevelled CBD. “The last year has seen some cornerstone projects finish and the result is an urban space that starts feeling like a functioning city rather than a disjointed patchwork,” he says.
“Recently finished projects, like our new central city library or the EntX complex, show that modern architecture of glass and steel can have a playful side.”

While he recognises the voices that mourn the loss of our Victorian heritage buildings, he’s impressed with what is being produced on the local stage. “Take the beauty of the golden cantilevered façade of our library at sunset, the adventures kids can have on Margaret Mahy Playground, or the new Terraces along the Avon,” Dennis says.

Some of our architectural heritage was taken from us in 2011, but the emerging Christchurch already has plenty to offer for most of us, he adds. “Of course we want it all – and right now at that – but I think we have done an amazing job for a tiny place in the middle of the ocean. It might take a few more years to break in our brand-new city, but I think I can already feel the buzz.

“Going forward, I hope we will be bold enough to build the first city of the 21st century, not the last of the 20th. Kia kaha Christchurch!”



Dwell Homes

Fendalton Flair: Dwell Homes

Specialising in bespoke new builds, Dwell Homes is an architectural design and build company committed to delivering excellence in every project, each of which is architecturally designed and comprehensively project managed by Director Bryan Doull.


Dwell Homes


The new Dwell showhome in Fendalton merges contemporary design innovation and environmental sustainability, while maintaining the emphasis on high quality craftsmanship. A stunning example of the company’s work, the Wroxton Terrace house is clad entirely in western red cedar, stained black on the vertical and natural on the horizontal and consists of three pavilions linked by a central hallway and a series of outdoor courtyard spaces.

The combination of the two colours of cedar continues into the interior, where slate-look timber tiles and a five-metre high ceiling in the kitchen/dining further highlight the architectural details. The energy efficient home’s stunning bathrooms feature Techlam large format porcelain tiles, softened with timber detailing. The minimal colour palette, deliberately chosen, emphasises the texture of the raw materials, accentuates the views and demonstrates the Dwell aesthetic. Designed specifically for the tranquillity of the site, the public areas and all but one of the four bedrooms, spill out onto timber decking via expansive full-height glazing, linking the interior to the outdoors. Bryan works with his wife, interior designer and Co-Director Lena Doull. “We collaborate closely from the outset of each project, developing ideas and design features to ensure that the architecture and interiors are cohesive and anchored,” Lena says.


For more information see, or find on Facebook and Instagram.


Craig South

Protecting your home investment: Craig South

For those preparing to make one of the biggest investments of their lives, building a new home, analysing and understanding all possible risk is paramount to ensuring a successful outcome. But where do you start? How can you protect yourself from all potential perils when planning for your future nest?


Craig South


Investing in a new home is such a huge undertaking. Many people will only do so once in their lives and are likely to be unfamiliar with the process and therefore open themselves up to unforeseen risk.
As architects, it is in our best interests to help our clients avoid potential pitfalls and to make the design process as pleasurable and productive as possible. As part of our service, we often provide guidance on selecting a trusted builder and how to interpret the contracts. The best builders will already have a strong track record and reliable working relationships with designers and subcontractors.

Who you choose to work with can make such a big difference to the final outcome. Selecting a build and design team with a strong and consistent record of success, and preferably a history of working together, is the ideal for achieving a great home that will fit you and your lifestyle. It requires a robust, collaborative approach that demands clarity on key factors including the brief, the budget and design parameters.
Of course, the financial risks are not the only issues you will need to be mindful of on your journey towards your new dream home. Poor design, inadequate communication, inferior materials and construction techniques can result in a home that falls well short of original expectations, with value negatively affected. The significance of selecting the right design and build team simply cannot be ignored.

Protecting your investment from risk requires a multifaceted approach and we believe the broader solution lies in building a home not just for today but for the future. A well thought out design is intrinsic to that goal, but it also means choosing quality, reputable materials that will endure. For example, cladding that has stood the test of time rather than selecting the latest trendy product on the market. At the same time, it’s about having the discernment to embrace quality innovations where they offer real advantages.

There are so many options when it comes to deciding on your preferred building methodology, ranging from prefabrication to low energy use buildings.
Although good design should never be forfeited, it makes sense to favour a low maintenance, low energy input home. It is part of futureproofing your investment to seek a design and build that will produce a house well above current code on features such as insulation and energy efficiency.
Risk will evaporate if the fundamentals are addressed, achieving sustainable, inspiring results. If value is placed in the design process, you ensure this transpires into the end product, creating a home that reflects the significant investment that it is.



Architect Craig South
In the wake of another building firm collapse, architect Craig South offers insight on safeguarding your home for the future.


Schenk Ltd

A Powerful Portfolio: Schenk Ltd

For Schenk Ltd, the building business is not only a profession, but a passion. Whether you are starting from scratch, undertaking renovations, extensions, upgrading your kitchen and bathroom or even a garden nip and tuck, Schenk Ltd does it all.


Schenk Ltd


“We don’t build houses, we build homes,” says founder and Manager Callum Schenkel. With more than 25 years building experience under his belt, Callum’s knowledge of the building industry is second to none. “We work closely with the customer to find out exactly what they want. We are able to translate between the home owners and the architect/designer and suppliers at the other end. We also collaborate and work closely with all professions and trades to make sure we produce the best possible outcome for our client.”

With Callum and his team of builders hard at work, it’s Bonnie behind the scenes who helps to make sure everything runs smoothly. It’s this level of dedication which gives Schenk Ltd a considerable portfolio, containing many high-quality building projects. A recent highlight is the new home of Jude and Geoff Marks.

Situated in the growing Rolleston community, the two-storey home contains plenty of features to give this home a totally unique character. Inside, the unique application of Formance panelling not only gives the home a stylish edge but is more durable and warmer than traditional framing. This exterior is complemented by rustic cedar panelling surrounding the front door. Plus, a four-car garage with a panelled door optimises space with a pull-down ladder allowing access to an upper storage area.

Inside there are four bedrooms, two up and two down, each illuminated from dawn till dusk due to the expansive windows; across the hall, an open plan kitchen and dining area, with a 4.8 x 2.4m pantry. The stairs are simplistic and contain pelmet lighting, capable of illuminating your ascent at night. Upstairs the living area is complete with a spectacular view of your surroundings. The downstairs features underfloor heating. The luxurious comfort of this heat is amazingly inexpensive. It completely transforms the feeling of the home as it slowly uses the stored heat in the slab.


With Schenk Ltd, no job is too small nor project too tough, captured in their motto of ‘from pile to ridge’. For more information, phone Callum on 027 935 4290 or email


O’Neil Architecture

Creating Exceptional Spaces: O’Neil Architecture

O’Neil Architecture has been admired for its sophisticated enduring designs, spatial fluency, and the ability to make ordinary objects and materials desirable. The company is working on new homes throughout the country, as well as a few exciting projects right here in Christchurch.
O’Neil Architecture

We recently sat down with Director Darren O’Neil and Senior Designer David Rea to talk about team O’Neil and their exciting upcoming projects. “We have several exceptional homes that we have been working on recently that we’re incredibly excited about. They’re sculptural, balanced, suited to their environments and will look spectacular when finished,” Darren says.
“In-fact, all parties involved have really gone the extra mile and the level of finish and attention to detail is outstanding. Which yet again reiterates the importance of having the right team of experienced professionals involved in your project, it profoundly affects the execution of the build and client satisfaction,” David adds.

Team O’Neil recently attended a celebratory party its clients threw in their underground garage, AKA their ‘Batcave’, to thank all involved to date. “It was incredibly humbling and such a pleasure to hear how they have honestly loved the entire journey and are almost sad for it to end. That’s what it’s all about really, isn’t it!” Darren says.

Hughes House

Making Architectural Magic: Hughes House

The stunning Hughes House, designed in crucifix form, pays more than due reverence to its charmed setting on an old orchard in Marshland.

Hughes House

Designed by Matt Barrett of Walker Architecture, it has been nominated for an Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) Regional Award, in the Residential New Home Over 300 square metres category of the 2018 competition.
The completely secluded site has its own lake and retains established trees. These magical surroundings flow indoors via decks which reach into the landscape. Raised well above its historical wetland setting, the house also features a generous stud height inside, but clever landscaping around the house means it nestles into its environs, rather than overpowering them.
Matt says the great thing about this design was the “ability to focus on the details – the best details are the ones you don’t see”. Environmental sustainability and energy efficiency elements are a feature of the practice and the clients were very receptive and open to ideas.

These magical surroundings flow indoors via decks which reach into the landscape

Hughes HouseHughes House

Matt says “it’s a series of tweaks, rather than construction overhaul,” to obtain increased energy efficiency and eco-credentials. Tweaks include robustly upscaled insulation, thermally broken windows recessed in line with the insulation rather than with the cladding, water storage and the use of natural materials such as cedar and stonework.
Current projects – the rebuild of the Richmond Club, along with the Duncan Building rebuild and façade retention – might not form the shape of the cross as Hughes House does, but they will receive the Walker Architecture eye for detail and efficiency. Amen to that!

Stonewood Homes

Showhome success: Stonewood Homes

Chances are, if you are in the market for building your next home, Stonewood Homes is at the top of your list. Since 1987, this housing company has been one of Canterbury’s, and indeed New Zealand’s, largest group builder, with more than 30 years’ experience and with 6,000 satisfied Kiwi homeowners.

Stonewood Homes

Throughout the build process, the company is with you every step of the way, from design to the finished build and is proud to now be once again locally owned and operated.
Offering a comprehensive range of design and build packages to suit any budget, its homes also come with a one-year full-home warranty and a 10-year Master Build Guarantee to give you that peace of mind.
The firm’s high standards and sheer level of dedication to every build, can be seen in its latest showhome at 4 Azara Way, Awatea Park, Wigram. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom, double garage home comes with a floor area of 198m2 with butler’s pantry, raking ceilings, study and master suite.
Stonewood HomesThe indoor and outdoor flow, extending the outdoor entertainment areas, has also been achieved by carefully planned landscaping. Stonewood’s use of only the finest building materials and techniques culminate in quality homes that are second to none.

To find out more about how you can make your dream home a reality, visit, visit the new showhome in Awatea Park or call
03-354 2344.

Borrmeister Architect

Mt Pleasant perfection: Borrmeister Architects

Borrmeister Architects’ studios in Ferrymead and the Coromandel are home to a team of six architects working nationwide. “We find people all over New Zealand are looking for a house that is not just a showhome and which represents value for money,” says Wulf Borrmeister who heads the tea

Borrmeister Architect
Photo by Dennis Radermacher

“We love to work with all sorts of people – our clients and the locations inspire us and we never stop learning.”
A project close to home has received an Architecture Award in this year’s NZIA Canterbury Architecture Awards programme. ‘Mount Pleasant House’ came with a demanding brief for a rebuild on a tricky wedge-shaped hillside section, which faces into the prevailing easterly wind.
What emerged from the clever design team in consultation with its clients, is a contemporary family home featuring angled wings that embrace the sun, sea views and a central private garden courtyard. “A connection with the outdoors is paramount and this has happened with this house,” Wulf says.

The eco-friendly design expresses natural cross ventilation, solar gain, natural light to every room, great privacy, protection from the prevailing wind and it blends well with the context of the neighbourhood. Making beautiful buildings and creating happy clients is reward enough for Wulf and the team but, “this is a standout house and to receive the award is great,” he says.
“It’s a tribute to working together – both in-house and with our clients. Plus T & D Builders were amazing to work with; they’ve done a fantastic job.”
Hadley Morgan, Director of T & D Construction has a soft spot for Mount Pleasant House, having won a Silver Award for the home in the Master Builders’ House of the Year 2016 competition New Home $650,000-$1 million category. “The house utilises a lot of different materials and it provided a great opportunity for our team to complete some really nice finishing carpentry work,” Hadley says.
“They did a brilliant job of that. “The 12-month build process was a great experience – working with Wulf and his team and owners Clara and John, who made the project a real pleasure.”
Not Just Kitchens (NJK) was proud to be asked to manufacture and install the custom-made joinery for this beautiful home. After a site meeting, NJK was left to manufacture and install the products in a short time frame, to meet the schedule.
“These types of homes only come together when the trades people involved have the same vision for the house, and work together collectively to complete the project to the standard expected by the all of the parties,” says Not Just Kitchens Director Paul Campbell. “It was great to have their trust, and to show the flare of our team.”

Borrmeister Architects

Ph: 03-384 0946
T & D Construction
Ph: 03-366 8856

Not Just Kitchens

Ph: 021 370 778

Enduring Architecture

Enduring Architecture: Functional homes tailored for you now and the future

Architect Craig South
Architect Craig South

Architect Craig South explores the positive impact quality, well-considered design can have on a family’s future.

After recently catching up with clients who are still living in their home 10 years after it was designed, the importance of well-considered design was abundantly clear. When we were designing the Brown House, they were a young family with two small boys and another on the way.

Enduring Architecture

Ten years on, although their lives have changed, their home still works perfectly for them. They may have redecorated to match their current tastes, but the spaces remain the same; save for the toy store! A small room off the kitchen and dining area designed for the kids’ ‘stuff’ – highchairs, games and toys – has now become the children’s study. Although the use has changed, its proximity to the kitchen makes it ideal for its new use as it is easy to keep an eye on homework whilst cooking dinner!
The value an architect brings is immeasurable; we understand that it is the unique features and quirks that makes a house your home. Not necessarily the cedar wall in the stairwell or the double shower in the ensuite, but also how the spaces are organised to best suit the way your family lives. Some require large open plan rooms; others want more compartmentalised areas so, like the Browns, they can host dinner parties in the dining room then retire to a separate sitting area, all whilst the children are watching TV or playing video games in another space; connected but still independent. It is our job, as architects, to take the time to get to know you and your family so we can tailor your home to meet your specific needs now and into the future.

Enduring Architecture

After 10 years, fashions have changed, fads have come and gone but the well-considered design of the Brown House has stood the test of time. As architects, we want nothing more than our designs to last a lifetime. There may be cosmetic changes to ‘keep up with the times’ but the spaces should remain functional and suitable. I was surprised and delighted to hear the Browns still receive plenty of positive comments. “When people visit for the first time, they often cannot believe it’s 10 years old! Our home fits our family so perfectly that people think we have built recently, not a decade ago!”

It was fascinating to discuss how the home has developed with the family and the elements they have added over time as, and when, they could afford them. When we designed their home, a pool wasn’t a necessity, but as something they wanted in the future, it was planned for to be added later.Although the Browns would love to build again, the location, section size and their home’s spaces continue to meet their needs, so there is no real desire to move.The opportunity to revisit one of my earlier designs and discover that it is still as functional and beautiful as it was a decade ago has reminded me just how important our job, as architects, is. We help to make your house your forever