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Celebrating the city’s architecture

An executive home inspired by the work of Sir Miles Warren and a school playground in the sky were just two of the award-winning designs celebrated on Friday 2 August at the Canterbury/Westland Regional ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards.




Every year, the ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards celebrate innovative, sustainable and exceptionally designed projects from around New Zealand. Awarding designs in multiple categories, the awards programme recognises residential, commercial, alterations, interiors and multi-use projects designed by members of Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ).

This year, 22 awards were given to 13 designers from the Canterbury region. The award winners were Julie Villard of Bob Burnett Architecture, Nic Curragh of Objects Ltd, Greg Young of Young Architects, Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural, Robert Weir of Weir Architecture, Pippin Wright-Stow of F3 Design, Aaron Jones of Urban Function Architecture, Chris Wheeler of Hierarchy Architecture, Barry Connor of Barry Connor Design Limited, Bob Burnett of Bob Burnett Architecture, Craig South of Allfrey + South Architects Ltd, Gary Todd of Gary Todd Architecture Ltd, and Fiona Macpherson of Fiona Macpherson Architecture.



Greg Young of Young Architects was a major award winner on the night, taking home three regional awards for two projects.

Aaron Jones of Urban Function Architecture received four awards for four projects. He received a Commercial Interior Architecture Design Award for the work on his own design studio, titled ‘Urbanfunction + Zerobag Studios’.

Julie Villard of Bob Burnett Architecture won the Residential Compact New Home up to 150m2 Architectural Design Award for ‘Boat Shed House – Lyttelton’.

Nic Curragh of Objects Ltd won the Residential New Home between 150m2 and 300m2 Architectural Design Award for his project ‘Red Rock Lane’.



Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural won the Residential Alterations and Additions Architectural Design Award for ‘Esplanade Alterations’. Ben Brady also received a Highly Commended Award in the Residential Compact New Home up to 150m2 category for his work on a Little Akaloa bach, titled ‘Sea Call’.

Robert Weir of Weir Architecture received the Commercial/Industrial Architectural Design Award for his work on the Crowne Plaza in Christchurch’s central city and a Highly Commended Award in the Residential New Home over 300m2 category for his work on a modern Waimairi Beach home titled ‘Chamberlain, Beachside’.

Pippin Wright-Stow of F3 Design won two awards for his work on ‘Sky Playground’ located at Cathedral Grammar School. The playground design won the Resene Colour in Design Award and a Highly Commended Award in the Commercial/Industrial category.

Chris Wheeler of Hierarchy Architecture won two awards for Coffee Culture located at The Crossing in the central city. He won the Resene Colour in Design Award and Commercial Interior Architecture Design Award.






Bringing People Together to Talk Architecture: Allfrey + South Architects

Allfrey + South Architects opened an exciting conversation on architecture with the wider community earlier this year via its new ArchiChat Group. Architect Craig South explains what the open forum is all about and why it is going from strength to strength.



It has been a privilege for us to open our practice this year and welcome those with a passion for design and the architectural process to join our ArchiChat Group get-togethers. Sharing a room with people from all walks of life who are genuinely interested in what we do as architects and how we go about it is really thrilling in many ways.

We first realised there was a place for an interactive social forum on architecture after being approached by a lovely couple, familiar with our work, at an open studio session last year. They were curious about design and asked lots of questions about our projects. It struck us that there could be other people like them who would appreciate being able to meet us informally and talk about architecture. We were not sure what to expect when we launched our first ArchiChat Group session earlier this year. In fact, demand was such that we ended up holding a second evening to cater to everyone who wanted to get involved.

Our next ArchiChat series of meetings will be in the week starting 5 August with the third scheduled for November. While builders, engineers and landscape architects are among those taking part, anyone with an interest in architecture is welcome to register. You don’t need to be an industry expert or someone thinking about building a new home. ArchiChat is primarily a forum to meet and socialise with our architects and other people who share a passion for all things architectural. Our get-togethers, with drinks and nibbles provided, are small, friendly and generally quite noisy with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and chat about matters of interest.


At each session we go through some of our projects, including past and current work. Again, we see this is as very informal, not a lecture. We also encourage discussion regarding newsworthy topics in the world of architecture. For example, a focus of debate at our first ArchiChat sessions was ‘the Tulip’, the controversial new skyscraper planned for London. As we are involved in a local project, we also chatted about the co-housing movement and opened up the floor to explore what people think about this trend.

This month we are inviting people to share their thoughts on whether it is time to rethink the norm of the small bach. For those who socialise most with family and friends while on holiday, then a larger bach and a smaller city house or apartment could make more sense than a large city home and a tiny bach. We are looking forward to hearing people’s feedback on what would work best for them.

We love how the ArchiChat Group is creating a place for dialogue and a two-way flow of ideas. As much as people can learn from us, we are also gaining a lot from the informal exchange of thoughts and ideas with people who care about architecture as much as we do.

Register your interest at and we will keep you posted.



Architect Craig South
Craig South




Enhancing community architecture: IKON Architects

Holly Lea Village, located in the heart of Fendalton, has been well-established as one of Christchurch’s premier retirement lifestyle villages. This is set to be enhanced as IKON Architects has been working with Generus Living Group to refresh the existing facility and design significant additions to expand the range of living options available within their existing three-acre site.



Construction commenced recently on the initial stage of the new development, The Morven Apartments. Sited just northeast of the existing facility, this two-storey apartment building, comprising eight generous two-bedroom apartments, will be linked via a covered walkway bridging the re-styled stream running through the grounds.

Following this, a second building offering a mix of 20 one and two bedroom apartments will expand the Tui Street frontage of Holly Lea Village. The architectural detailing both inside and out are of the highest quality in keeping with Generus Living Group’s established reputation of providing high-end retirement living.

To ensure these buildings integrate seamlessly into their established surroundings, architectural features have been carefully articulated to maintain a residential scale. Wide, low roof forms with expansive eaves taking cues from mid-century modern architecture are employed to match the existing buildings.

The façade is modulated at ground level with a rendered concrete block base that encapsulates outdoor patio areas, whereas the weatherboard-clad first floor is recessed to form generous private balconies.

With future developments on the horizon, IKON Architects is excited to work with Generus Living Group to provide more people with the opportunity to experience the very best in retirement living at Holly Lea Village.



Breaking down myths about architects: Allfrey + South

Misconceptions about architects and how they work can be off-putting for those weighing up whether to use their services. In reality, as architect Craig South observes, there is nothing to fear and much to be gained from engaging a registered professional.



It can be easy to forget that people outside your own profession may not have a great understanding of what it is you actually do. Buildings are integral to our lives, yet the role of the architect is not necessarily clear to everyone. In our practice, it is refreshing to meet people who know we can add value to their project.

Architects are registered professionals who must meet stringent academic and professional standards to achieve that status. Achieving that registration takes many years of training and experience. It means architects can be relied upon to deliver a robust design process informed by an in-depth understanding of client needs and the site.



Unfortunately, there is a prevailing myth that architects will simply cost too much and are unaffordable. Of course, working with an architect does involve a cost – often quoted initially as a percentage – but with that will come peace of mind that the design process is in the best possible hands.

It is worth remembering that the architect’s fee is just one small component of the total cost, yet is crucial to the project’s ultimate success. Working with an architect is the best way to protect your investment and to secure a result of which everyone will be proud.

In the end, architecture is so much more than just shelter or a roof over your head. It should also excite you, inspire you and add pleasure to your life. As architects, this is what we strive to achieve: to design outstanding buildings that function well and that are also uniquely suited to site, context and, above all, individual client needs.



We understand that not everyone has the luxury of a lavish budget. Architects can tailor design to budget and brief to achieve optimal results. The same skills and abilities are brought to bear on smaller scale projects as for larger ones and the same design process used. The point is that scale does not determine the quality of the result, but engaging an architect will enable your project’s potential to be maximised.

Architects add the most value when they have a clear understanding of your lifestyle priorities, the spaces that are most important to you and how you like to live. A relatively open brief allows the architect to interpret and express clients’ dreams and aspirations to create balanced and authentic outcomes. Site and environment also inform final concepts, with documentation used to guide construction on site.

In our profession, good communication is pivotal. It informs and underpins the entire design process and involves not just the client and the architect but also the builder/construction team, engineers, suppliers and others involved with the project.
If you’re ready to move beyond the myths, think about starting a conversation with an architect and be prepared to see where your dreams could take you.



The house with everything: DJ Hewitt Builders

Celebrating 25 years in business building outstanding houses, DJ Hewitt is thrilled to enter a superlative home in the 2019 Master Builders House of the Year regional competition in the category: House over $2 million. Having taking a sabbatical from House of the Year entries for almost a decade, this stunning entry brings DJ Hewitt to the forefront of competition once again.



Anchored into the hill high above McCormacks Bay, this is a house with everything: views for inspiration, volcanic rock for grounding, steel for strength, glass for insight and cladding in cedar wood for dreams. Its impeccable dimensions by O’Neil Architecture draw the gaze and hold it: the flat roof combined with the deep-set eaves, the geometric pattern of the black window framing, the snappy white surround to the second and third stories, volcanic rock cladding the ground floor and warm cedar above. It makes for a pleasing and harmonious whole: looking at this house could become addictive.

The stunning home was a 20-month build that saw the tight-knit team overcome all the challenges associated with the hill site, as well as everything that mother nature had to throw at them. For Director Daryl Hewitt, the whole project is a stand out, “for its placement on the site, its architectural merit, its design and flow, the materials used – all the boxes are ticked”.



At three stories it is an impressive home as you look up from the causeway and, once on site, the commanding 220-degree view takes you to another world. The panorama of the Kaikoura ranges around to the Heathcote Valley constantly feeds the soul with a palette of changing light and seasons. DJ Hewitt has been working with Fox Surveyors for years. “We always get them to set out our homes, they are professional and helpful,” Daryl says.

There are four forms of cladding on the house – cedar planking, adjustable steel louvres by LouvreTec, Rockcote, and the local volcanic stone which is continued into landscaping and retaining walls, specially laid to resemble the dry stonewalling technique of interlocking stones, any mortar used barely visible.



The double glazed and laminated aluminium framed windows from the Vantage Metro Series were manufactured and installed by Hagley Windows and Doors, while the spacious deck in Innowood, a sustainable alternative to timber, is protected from prevailing winds by Glassforce structural frameless balustrading held with spider brackets, which is also used for the full height of two levels up the stairway, to stunning effect.

The sleek interior feels band-box fresh in a neutral palette, with a luxurious range of textures chosen by the owners in conjunction with interior co-ordinator Tara Hewitt. A hotel-style lift to accommodate six is paired with the steel and glass staircase, an art installation in its own right. Systems within the house are all fully automated and can be controlled from a smart phone.



The wine cellar occupies the bottom level of the house along with a spacious storage area, accessed through a secret door. Engineered by Powell Fenwick, the house is set into the hillside and sits on a complex foundation of steel and concrete approaching commercial levels. “It is a very strong home,” Daryl says.

Happy owners of the house Russell and Mary love the whole thing. “We love the wine cellar, the stair well, the orientation and layout that takes full advantage of the view.” Russell was hands-on in the wine cellar design. “It is the ideal spot for a wine cellar – it is naturally cool down there but actually it is mainly a whisky display,” Russell says, “not because I am a particular whisky aficionado, it is more in homage to Scottish ancestry”.



Mary and Russell chose Daryl and his team to bring their vision to life because they had visited a DJ Hewitt show home “which stood out to us as so well designed and immaculately finished”. They had also got to know Daryl on the local dog-walking circuit, and of course were aware of DJ Hewitt’s unrivalled reputation as a specialist hill builder.

“It was wonderful to have the help of Tara Hewitt’s interior design skills as a part of the wrap-around, start to finish service we received,” Russell says. “It was Tara and Daryl’s idea to paint the ceiling black above the full-height void which contains our kitchen, living, dining and gallery. We are thrilled with how it looks, it’s just fantastic and Tara’s help with things like the wallpaper selections was invaluable.”



Mary and Russell lived on this site in a previous home so were well aware of its challenges and advantages, as well as where best to capture the views. “Both designer and builders’ attention to detail has been amazing, and we’ve become friends with the team; they are really great people.”

“Every house we build sticks in my mind – any house you have great clients, working closely to fulfil a dream,” Daryl says. However, this house is very special. Daryl particularly loves the lift – they are becoming more popular in private homes – as well as the full-height void with its signature black ceiling and the automated louvres on the walls and roof.



Specialist hill and architectural builders, new projects come to DJ Hewitt through word of mouth and architects’ request. “The truth is that houses don’t have to be large to be good. Often these days we are building more compact homes which follow the movement to being very thermally efficient, although all our homes have been insulated to above the code, ever since I’ve been in business.”

Constantly busy building dream homes with several architectural projects on the go at any given moment, DJ Hewitt found time to celebrate their 25 years of business with an awards night held at Hagley Windows and Doors with All Blacks motivational speaker Gilbert Enoka addressing attendees. Highly valued subtrades that have worked for DJ Hewitt for 25, 20, 15 or 10 years received appreciation awards.



“We are like a big family,” Daryl says. “Everyone knows what to do and we turn out fabulous homes for great clients.”



Aiming High

Nestled high on a steep hillside section, a home designed to connect the openness of Sumner beach with the forested slope of Scarborough Hill was recognised at the local NZIA Awards this month, winning both the Canterbury Architecture Award and Resene Colour Award.



Designed by Borrmeister Architects, the brief for the ‘Red Rock House’ on Whitewash Head Road was for a relaxed, playful home, capturing the sun and views to the beach and uphill park, whilst providing shelter from the prevailing winds – as well as incorporating easy driveway access and parking.

Director Wulf Borrmeister says to tackle the difficult site, the house was designed around a strict 1.2m grid, resulting in a simple, rectangular foot print that stretched over three levels. “It was a challenging project, but we are really pleased with the result and the outcome was a team effort between all the parties involved.”

Stand-out features include the stone-faced basement walls, appearing to grow out of the rock face, while anchoring the home firmly on the ground. The upper floors were designed to be sun-filled and open, consisting mainly of glass facades behind sliding cedar screens, providing sun control, natural cross ventilation, cooling and privacy. The home is protected by a lightweight, sail-like roof ‘floating’ above the space on two tree-like timber and steel support structures.

On the top level is an open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area, and a snug study. Three bedrooms, bathrooms, a laundry and sauna are on the middle level, with a double garage and storage in the basement. The stunning cantilever staircase was a challenge, says Mark Allworthy of Bates Joinery, “but the entire home’s design was amazing and it was a pleasure working with Avenue Homes, who put a lot of thought into every detail and accept nothing less than perfect”.

Large decks connect the house with a swimming pool, outdoor shower, veggie garden, ‘grandstand’ seating area and the uphill park. The exterior materials include plaster, corrugated Coloursteel and stone, sourced from the site’s excavated rock; and complemented by a simple internal material palette of timber floors, light and dark walls, with playful wallpaper.

The family home incorporates a range of environmentally conscious features and emphasises the bespoke architecture Borrmeister aims for. “We treat every home as unique and we’re really happy to be recognised for this award.”


Bates Joinery
Ph. 03 388 8111



A beautiful reincarnation: DPA Architects

A meticulous weaving of historic fabrics with modern structural elements was used for the restoration of the Rose Chapel – a beautiful reincarnation of the quake-damaged heritage building.



Standing on Colombo Street for more than a century, the locally treasured chapel reopened almost a year ago. DPA Architects was recognised for its work on the complex repair at the local NZIA Awards this month, winning the Canterbury Architecture Award in the Heritage category. The accolade follows a gold award, value award and national award for Heritage/Restoration at the 2019 Commercial Project Awards in May.

The Rose Chapel restoration was completed with Higgs Construction. Dave Pearson of DPA Architects says he enjoyed working in collaboration with individual contractors on the unique on-site challenges. “The successful restoration relied on the input of skilled craftsman and trades working together to deliver an exemplary result.”

Just three days before its 100th birthday celebrations, the chapel was severely damaged by the February 2011 earthquake. The rose window and roof had collapsed, leaving a gaping hole in the main facade. The complex restoration project involved reinstating fallen masonry, replacing structural brick walls with concrete versions, strengthening the roof and foundations, as well as piecing together and reinstalling the shattered windows. The salvaged slate was re-laid and intricate stonemasonry carried out by New Zealand’s leading heritage stonemasonry company, Goldfield Stone.


Other work included re-plastering the internal surfaces, reforming all the arches by hand and reinstating the plaster details. The internal walls were repainted, timber work re-stained, tiled floor reinstated, and new lighting installed. The spiral staircase was badly damaged, but a near identical spiral staircase was salvaged from the demolished Regent Theatre and installed in its place. Both buildings were originally designed by the Luttrell brothers, so it was decided that the staircase could be installed without any loss of authenticity. After more than two years of careful restoration, the Rose Historic Chapel was officially reopened.

DPA Architects is committed to preserving New Zealand’s built heritage, providing the highest possible standards of architectural services for its clients. One of New Zealand’s foremost architectural practices, it is committed to seeing some of New Zealand’s more humble buildings preserved. The company has developed a high level of technical expertise through involvement with a large number of projects, ranging from large commercial projects to small domestic alterations.


Is Affordable Architecture an Oxymoron?



Look at the cookie cutter houses in some of the new subdivisions and you may not have found architectural inspiration, but there is reason behind some of the repetition of form. A particular roof pitch and a 600mm eave mean that there will be no cladding above the windows. A certain floor plan will mean the ratio of wall area to house area is low. These tried and tested recipes, along with building code minimums, produce affordability. Mess with it and you might mess with the budget.

So, what do you do when you want more in terms of aesthetics and lifestyle? At the other end is the architectural approach, where high ideas and custom craftmanship with the best materials create buildings that are almost sculpture first, home second. But who can afford that? If one is trying to stick to a modest budget, it is important to get one’s priorities straight in order to spend money in the right areas.

You might keep the floor plan small with perhaps smaller bedrooms and a good size open plan living area. Timber, although expensive, brings warmth to a surrounding, but it could be limited to the areas you will experience, say the entry to the house and outdoor living, rather than a wholesale approach. Being careful with the simplicity of form, but utilising good proportion makes the design buildable. A sensitivity to this balance of cost versus architecture is what a good designer will be able to guide you through to achieve exciting, affordable outcomes.


Ben Brady
By Linetype Architectural Director & Designer Ben Brady


Bespoke Timber Beauty: Timber Tru

Although the team at Timber Tru has been making quality timber joinery for more than twenty years, they possess between them more than fifty years of experience in the discipline.



Tony van der Plas, owner and co-founder of Timber Tru, has been in the industry since his youth and offers his experience and advice to clients through personal service. Personal service at Timber Tru means working directly with the client.

At the consultation, you can expect to sit down with Tony or a team member to discuss the architectural plans of your project or start from scratch and help you put your ideas down on paper. While reflecting on the process of client consultations, Tony asserts, “It’s always good to sit down with the client to draw things out. It’s so they can visualize what they want, what they couldn’t see before.”

There’s a season for everything and winter is the time for internal work. The craftsmen at Timber Tru have plenty of experience modernising kitchens, storage spaces, windows and doors, but they take a particular joy in producing bespoke joinery for the restoration of historical buildings. The team at Timber Tru has the skills and experience required to start new builds and successfully restore historical buildings.

To request a free consultation, call 03 389 2986 or email Tony at


Executing the Exceptional: Jennian Homes

Dwayne Prendergast, Director of Jennian Homes Canterbury, says the year has started with strong sales. “We are particularly pleased with the number of new high-end architectural builds we are doing, along with our large range of family and holiday homes,” Dwayne says.



This year has seen the completion of a number of in-house designed architectural builds in Westmorland. “The homes are built into the hillside, and enjoy stunning views over the city.” With special block foundation engineered floors, Jennian Homes has ensured these builds don’t just look fantastic, but are built to meet the environmental challenges.

“We are really enjoying handling whole projects – beginning with designs created by our team from scratch, through to seeing delighted owners moving in,” Dave says. “The process is made that much easier for clients with our Studio J display centre right here at our office in Sockburn.

It is open from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday and it is just great because it removes the need for clients to try to visualise; they can see all the materials and colour options as they would appear on a finished home.” If you are thinking of building, it’s never too early to talk to one of the team at Jennian Homes.

The Jennian team are there to explore your ideas, explain options and offer complete certainty around the process of building with Jennian Homes. “If you’d love an architectural home but budget is a constraint, utilising the in-house design team is an extremely cost-effective way to achieve your goal,” Dwayne says.

The design team is completed by in-house sales and accounts, and there is a fantastic set of skilled personnel in the key project management group. “We’ve all got such energy and enthusiasm for what we achieve here, and it’s because we work with great brands, great trades and we get great results. We’ve completed numerous homes for delighted clients and we are proud of what we are doing,” Dwayne says.

The team has expanded the area it covers and Jennian Homes Canterbury is now creating dream homes for happy clients from Kaikoura to Waimate. Jennian’s homes are also completed under fixed contracts. “We understand that people can come to building with concerns about controlling the costs. We guarantee there won’t be any unpleasant surprises with your budget,” Dwayne says.

Jennian Homes also ensures there are a range of display homes available to view at any one time, which is no mean feat given they get snapped up by impressed buyers very quickly. Both of the Jennian Homes Canterbury display homes in Rolleston and Rangiora are open Saturday and Sunday from 12-4pm and an exciting new concept in display homes is about to open in Halswell Commons. Stunning display homes in Ashburton and Timaru are open for your viewing with team members on site.