metropol » architecture

Tag: architecture

The story of an icon


Christchurch’s proud tradition of exceptional public architecture is evident in one of the city’s favourite buildings – the Christchurch Town Hall.

 

 

Playing prestigious host to numerous celebrations, concerts and civic events over the years, the building once described as the city’s ‘public living room’ reopened triumphantly in 2019 after a successful campaign for its restoration.

Through the tortuous beginnings of the original project, to the battle to save the complex post-quake, a new book published by Canterbury University Press, captures an intimate story of the building’s survival.

It was a fitting project for former Associate Professor of Art History at UC Dr Ian Lochhead who edited The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed.

Dr Lochhead was an early advocate of repair and restoration, expressed his views in a piece titled ‘Let our public living room live again’ published in The Press on 20 March 2012.

When the facility opened to much fanfare and civic interest in 1972, the auditorium in particular was unlike anything seen in New Zealand before, Dr Lochhead explains.

While Sir Miles Warren led the creative architectural team (establishing the reputation of Warren & Mahoney nationally), it was Sir Harold Marshall who was responsible for the world-class acoustics that changed the way concert halls around the world were designed from that point on.

The quality of Marshall’s acoustic design attracted performers of the calibre of Leonard Bernstein, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Carlos Santana and, just last month, renowned cellist YoYo Ma, and saw Christchurch recognised alongside the great concert halls of Vienna, Boston and Lucerne. The Philharmonie de Paris, which opened in 2015, took its design cues from the Christchurch Town Hall, to the extent that the French employed Marshall Day Acoustics, the practice established by Harold Marshall in 1981.

The compelling story of the incredibly challenging restoration is recounted in chapters by Peter Marshall and John Hare and captured in photos by former UC photographer Duncan Shaw-Brown and by Olivia Spencer-Bower.

UC returned to the Town Hall for its graduation ceremonies in 2019, one of many key Christchurch organisations to again use this much-loved space for their most important celebrations.

The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, edited by Dr Ian Lochhead, is available now in hardback edition and online.


 

Designing beautiful spaces


To celebrate their new Christchurch studio, Ignite Architects hosted clients and industry partners at their innovative Sudima Laneway home.

 

At the event, Ignite commissioned local artist Mario Luz to create a live art work for a charity auction, with proceeds going to the Laura Fergusson Trust Canterbury.

The studio is part of a mixed-use project designed by Ignite, with the stunning new 5-Star Sudima Hotel complementing the commercial and hospitality spaces.

During the opening, Ignite Managing Director Jeremy Whelan told guests, “We’re very proud of our contributions to the urban design fabric of Christchurch and the ongoing development of the South Island region. This year, we’ve invested further by opening our Queenstown studio.”

The team in the South Island continues to grow and the diversity of their experience and strong team culture allows them to take an integrated, holistic design approach to projects of varying scale and complexity, both local and international.

“Our point of difference is a rigorous design process that marries creativity with functionality. We pride ourselves in our ability to work empathetically and collaboratively with all stakeholders,” Ignite Director Grant Armstrong says.

“And we’re very happy to share this milestone with our community here in Christchurch.”

 

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

 

1.JEREMY WHELAN

2.JULIAN BUTSON, SAM YAU, PETER McMENAMIN

3.JAKE ABBOT, SZYMON GOZDZIKOWSKI

4.TAINA SCUR, RODRIGO HEPP, WAYNE O’DONNEL

5.KIRI SHUKER, SAMIR GOVIND

6.ENRICA FLORE, SARA O’DONNEL, JEREMY DUNLOP


 

Approaching alterations: Linetype Architectural


Having recently received a National Award at the 2019 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards in the Additions and Alterations Category, I thought it timely to share a few thoughts on my approach to altering houses. Often there is already a good amount of dollar value in the existing house, so one needs to be careful and pragmatic about where and how to spend any money on it.

 

PHOTO: DENNIS RADERMACHER

 

I like to explore the ways in which the house is currently working, both aesthetically and functionally. To love what is there avoids a fight to change it into something it is not. A 1950’s bungalow, unless a lot of money is spent, will always look like a 1950’s bungalow.

Commonly, a house has been altered in the past and it is first an exercise in restoring logic. Why is there a porch halfway down the corridor when the entrance is now through the living area? Sometimes it is a very simple case of relocating a couple of doors and internal partitions to make a major difference. The aspiration, once work is complete, should be to have the house feel like it was always meant to be that way.

When looking at any new requirements, the house needs to deliver for its occupants, so my first study is where these needs can be accommodated within the building footprint. If possible, major cost can be avoided by redistributing spaces within the house. If there is a need to push out, do it carefully so that it complements the existing house.

 

By Linetype Architectural Architect Ben Brady

 

 


 

It’s all in the detail: Davinia Sutton


Multi award-winning Christchurch designer Davinia Sutton’s stunning kitchen and bathroom projects for two Canterbury homes were recognised at the recent 2019 National Kitchen and Bathroom Association Awards (NKBA) New Zealand, where she was also named 2019 Designer of the Year.

 

 

Held in Melbourne, Davinia Sutton of Detail by Davinia Sutton attained 12 awards altogether on the night, with the majority of the accolades won for the two homes. One of the projects (pictured), constructed by Ainsworth Builders and manufactured by Ashburton Joinery, was a large open kitchen featuring traditional cabinetry, a custom-made steel rangehood, a dark-stained solid timber island bench top, brick bond tiled splashback, off-white joinery and engineered stone.

Described as elegant, well-proportioned and textural, the design incorporated the early 1900’s architecture of the home. The ‘elegant and refined’ bathroom ensuite from the same home renovation also received two awards, featuring a ‘stunning tessellate tile floor of white and charcoal.’

The second award-winning kitchen, constructed by Mike Greer Architectural and manufactured by Woodshack Kitchens, blended effortlessly into the beautiful architecturally designed family home – sleek and modern, with an urban edge. The home’s award-winning bathroom featured a bold palette, with the selection of finishes providing a sense of sharpness and personality.

Davinia says the awards are a great reflection of local workmanship and it’s a privilege to be recognised by industry peers. “NKBA is an amazing organisation that really supports designers and the awards provide a fantastic launching pad and exposure that can lead to international recognition.”

Contact Detail by Davinia Sutton on 03 356 2722 or visit www.daviniasutton.com.

 

 


 

Real lives behind the architecture: Allfrey + South


From the outside, the practice of architecture may seem a little formal. Architect Craig South, of Allfrey + South Architects, says greater openness can change perceptions and promote positive outcomes.

 

 

When I first started out in this industry more than 20 years ago, I’m sure I would have thought that creative skills alone held the key to great design. In fact, as I’ve discovered, it invariably evolves out of building good relationships with clients; spending time with them on-site and getting to know their lifestyle and aspirations. You really can’t do that effectively without also sharing something of yourself along the way. Equally, good open communication is fundamental to building a healthy, friendly work environment. Once barriers start coming down between people, the relationships that form are generally very positive and productive.

As barrier busters go, my family’s Newfoundland puppy, Murphy, is proving a real champ. I’ve recently started bringing him into the studio with me. What a great experience it has been for everyone – so far, at least! Studies suggest that pets in the workplace are fantastic at relieving stress and encouraging social interaction. Dogs have been a fixture at Amazon for many years now and I can see why; having Murphy around the office encourages the team to take breaks away from their desks and lifts the overall mood. Of course, he’s a distraction to an extent, but a happy one and I think ultimately, we will all benefit.

I’m impressed at how chilled and relaxed Murphy is, both at home with my three daughters – aged 15, 13 and 10 – and in the studio, his calm nature seems to rub off on everyone that meets him. The plan is to have Murphy in the studio three days a week and, until he’s fully trained, he will spend most of his time hanging out in the office courtyard awaiting cuddles and pats. I’ve yet to meet anyone who can resist his ineffable ‘Newfie’ charm.

He will also be joining us at Allfrey + South’s Open Studio session later this month (29 November). This is an informal opportunity to drop by, ask a few questions and get to know us all a little better. Those with an interest in craft beer might be interested in the ‘brew day’ feature of the afternoon as I experiment with a new batch, and there may be an opportunity to sample some of my other home brew too!

During our Open Studio, you will find all of the Allfrey + South team are happy to share perspectives on architectural trends and innovations, as well as interests outside the office. Our website has been running some interesting stories from staff this year with blogs on a variety of topics from furniture restoration and small apartment living to travel experiences. It has made me appreciate what a diverse group we are, with many different outlooks and hobbies. While we are all employed in the same architecture sphere, we bring a range of experiences and talents to the practice.

All of this feeds back into an exceptional service for our clients, focused on celebrating their uniqueness in turn so as to create truly bespoke homes.

Meanwhile, I’m sure there will be many more updates to come on Murphy, who is still only at the start of his very own journey towards becoming a fully-grown dog! He may be small now, but he may eventually tip the scales at around 70kg!

www.allso.co.nz

 

Architect Craig South
Craig South

 


 

Canterbury designers take a bow


Six out of the 10 award-winning projects at the 2019 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards, one of New Zealand’s most prestigious architecture awards, are by Christchurch designers. 145 entries were received from some of the most talented designers across the country. The awards were held on Friday 18 October in Queenstown.

 

A. HEREFORD APARTMENTS

 

The Christchurch winners were Greg Young of Young Architects, Nic Curragh of Objects Ltd, Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural, Robert Weir of Weir Architecture and Chris Wheeler of Hierarchy Architecture.

Greg Young from Young Architects won two awards for two different projects; the 2019 Residential New Home over 300m2 Architectural Design Award for a Merivale project titled ‘Gable Silhouette’, and the Residential Multi-Unit Dwelling Architectural Design Award for ‘Hereford Apartments’.

 

B. GABLE SILHOUETTE

 

A simple family home, ‘Gable Silhouette’ is all about the enjoyment of living. The aesthetic has been inspired by the early work of Sir Miles Warren and the architecture of Central Otago. The other award-winning project, created by Young, was the design of four one-bedroom apartments on a 405sqm site in the inner city, with judges describing the four tiny single-bedroom units as being of rare spatial quality.

Nic Curragh of Objects Ltd won the Residential New Home between 150m2 and 300m2 Architectural Design Award for his project ‘Red Rock Lane’. Nestled into a terraced hillside site in Redcliffs, this two-bedroom house has been positioned to enjoy the view east to the Southern Alps. All living spaces are accommodated on the first floor within two dark-stained cedar box forms. The more dominant north box, with its extensively glazed lounge, cantilevers out dramatically over a 13m lap pool and pool room.

 

C. ESPLANADE ALTERATIONS

Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural won the Residential Alterations and Additions Architectural Design Award for his Sumner project titled ‘Esplanade Alterations’. A light hand was required on this 100-year-old arts and crafts villa. Although already renovated and earthquake repaired, the home required an alteration with more foresight and a big picture perspective to make it suitable for modern life while retaining and enhancing its character features.

Judge’s said Brady had given the grand old house a new lease on life through an alteration that brings out its best.

“Restrained interior choices give it lightness and foregrounds the original features of the house. The entrance deftly makes a sculptural statement out of an inconveniently located tree. The house unfolds on arrival. A new spiral staircase in black steel at the rear of the house juxtaposes sympathetically with the white timber walls and leads to a detached studio.”

 

D. COFFEE CULTURE THE CROSSING

The Crowne Plaza by Robert Weir of Weir Architecture received the Commercial/Industrial Architectural Design Award. Weir Architecture was tasked with transforming an existing damaged office building into a new dynamic luxurious hotel. Featuring 204 spacious and modern hotel rooms, combined with the best views that Christchurch City has, the hotel sits proudly within the Performing Arts Precinct, bringing life and vitality back into the city.

Meanwhile, the 2019 Resene Colour in Design Award went to ‘Coffee Culture The Crossing’ by Chris Wheeler of Hierarchy Architecture. The judges said that the stunning, neutral palette evokes style, warmth and grace.

 

 


 

Sustainability in architecture: Allfrey + South

With interest growing in sustainable lifestyles, we caught up with architect Craig South of Allfrey + South Architects for his thoughts on the role architecture has to play in the sustainability equation.

 

 

 

Sustainability means different things to different people. As an architect, what does sustainability mean to you?
I think we all have our own ideas on what comprises a sustainable lifestyle. For some people, it has a lot to do with location and wanting to live close to where they work. For others, it may be about choosing a home with a smaller footprint or wanting to install solar panels. In our practice, we listen closely to our clients and are very happy to work with them to achieve their particular goals in this area.

Discussing sustainability in architecture might once have been considered a little unorthodox, but it is now an almost universal aspiration for people to want to live in well-insulated, energy-efficient homes. We live in a world where we have to make more sustainable choices and, as a practice, this is something we consciously and actively accept. We currently have a number of projects underway from alterations to new passive houses that set very high sustainability standards.


Why is sustainable architecture important?
We want to create beautiful architecture that people can enjoy living in, so there’s still a balance that needs to be struck. It would be a mistake to prioritise sustainability above all else but, of course, it makes absolute sense to include sustainability features because these result in warmer, drier, healthier homes that are more fun to live in. Who wouldn’t want that?

Rather than designing to code, we always aim well above that in terms of insulation, ventilation, solar heating and so on. It’s not just us being ‘eco-conscious’. Many of our clients want to go down this route because it makes so much sense. While above code projects may cost more upfront, the benefits are ongoing in terms of delivering power savings and a comfortable way of life. From a re-sale perspective, homes designed for sustainability will also remain more attractive in the long-term and continue to hold their value.


What is Allfrey + South’s approach to sustainability?
It is part of our baseline commitment to our clients and, by setting the bar high, we hope we can help inspire others to follow our lead. Fundamental elements of sustainable architecture include orientation that appropriately considers sun, shade and wind; and having high standards of insulation (including the slab) and ventilation. By ventilation, I don’t necessarily mean mechanical ventilation; good natural ventilation can be achieved through effective window design that promotes air flow and air quality. Recycled materials can come into the sustainability equation too, though often we find it is the heritage value of such materials that are particularly valued.

Fundamentally, we are guided by respect for our clients and will always work to achieve their lifestyle goals. How far we can go down the sustainability road is largely dependent on the conversations we have with them. It is a real pleasure to work with clients who are passionate about sustainability and want to share their journey towards a better way of life with us.

www.allso.co.nz

 

Architect Craig South
Craig South

 


 

Naked Architecture


Choice – that’s what we need; a way in which each of us can individually live happily in our increasingly complex world.

 

 

 

Now, more than ever, people really do want greater choice around how they live in the urban environment. And internationally, a growing array of solutions are emerging to answer that urgent need. We are diverse, our needs differ and the days of the one-stop solution are long gone. In architecture, a new trend is allowing buyers individual choice even within the walls of one block.

‘Naked Architecture’ offers its end users the exciting ability to buy ‘shell space’ with no pre-imposed layout, giving them the opportunity to think about their own individual requirements within the space. The shell can then be fitted out to suit any individual’s needs and budget. In an inspired move towards individual choice, buyers can now tailor-make their own solutions and configure their own designs, with the assistance of the resident architect.

This innovative new architecture means that no two units need be the same, and each unit can work with the light and boundaries of its individual space – the possibilities are as varied as the buyers.

In a city such as Christchurch, which has already embraced massive change after the earthquakes, the opportunity to create anew has caused many of us to re-think our needs. ‘Naked Architecture’ embraces the need for individual choice – a chance to make personal decisions about personal space, and an opportunity to live more comfortably in our urban environment. Everybody benefits, happiness spreads – and Christchurch becomes an increasingly interesting and diverse city.

 

 


 

Head-turning Homes: Metro Advances


Five high-end townhouses at 55 Bishop Street have the best of everything – a head-turning design in cedar, with distinctive extras in the mix.

 

 

In the tranquillity of a quiet tree-lined St Albans street, these freehold three-bedroom apartments have just been completed – with two having sold already.

Nigel and Julie Lundy of Metro Advances Ltd chose the sizeable parcel of land, once the site of a derelict villa, for its fantastic location. The company has completed a large number of quality builds in recent years, including, in addition to their specialty quality housing, commercial investments such as the office building at 254 St Asaph Street (Unknown Chapter café), the popular Southwark Apartments hotel complex, and the Stor-Ezi storage units at 62 Factory Road, Belfast.

The company’s Project Manager Gabby Stockman says after a carefully executed design and consent stage, the build has taken a full year. “No shortcuts have been taken with the build; it’s quality all the way. They are on the right side of the street for really good sun in the living areas, and are a short walking distance into town. And the cafés of Edgeware village are not far either.”

 

Gabby has another strong family connection to property, as she is Shaun Stockman’s daughter. Shaun is renowned for developing CBD icons such as the award-winning Billens Building.

Both Metro and Shaun utilise the talented flair of architect Andrew Evans.

Under a pitched iron roof, the sumptuous golden cedar blends effortlessly with Rockcote. This exclusive, no-expense-spared design culminates in a striking street appeal. Builder Jack Forrest has also crafted some stunning boxed windows for extra space.

“One great feature is the really good-sized bedrooms, which is a rarity in new townhouses these days,” she says.

“The thick double-framed inter-tenancy walls are well-insulated for warmth and privacy. We have kept the interior décor light and bright with LED lighting, light-grey tiling, carpet and ‘Mt Aspiring’ painted walls.”

 

For the kitchen, Gabby chose either a timeless light walnut grain or natural wood, with all-white stone benches, pendant lighting, induction hobs, and reliable Omega appliances. “An architectural-designed steel rail leads to the ample landing space, which is large enough for a study nook. We always utilise every space as best as we can.”

The fully-tiled bathrooms have had no expense spared, with Italian-made black tapware, light timber-veneered vanity and a separate stone wash-bowl. The concrete-look tiled walls are simultaneously modern, classic and practical. The entrance is a beautiful cedar door, giving a Scandinavian-spa touch and that calming woody scent.

The middle units of the freehold townhouses are a comfortable 145sqm with single garaging, a private courtyard of aggregate and grass, and a tenancy fence of hardwood horizontal slats.

The larger back unit has a 175sqm footprint and two-car garaging. The wooden patio is built around an existing fruit-bearing feijoa tree. One of its three bedrooms is conveniently downstairs, and the main bathroom is embellished with a feature wall and a double-sized shower.

“These townhouses will suit so many people – young families, families with teenagers, retirees or professionals; anyone who wants an extremely low-maintenance home for years to come.”

Priced affordably for its unique quality, 55 Bishop Street (55B and 55E) in St Albans can viewed at www.harcourts.co.nz or contact Richard Dawson of Harcourts on 021 387 105.

 

 


 

Opening new doors on city living: Allfrey + South Architects


Buyers seeking a newly built city apartment will find plenty on the market. But what if people want something else, something more connected and affordable? Architect Craig South explores what this ‘something else’ could look like and how it could transform how we live.

 

PHOTO BY CHRISTCHURCHNZ

 

I was recently invited to contribute to a New Zealand Institute of Architects’ forum on the subject of emerging trends in city living in Christchurch. As one of the speakers, I was pleased to give a talk on co-housing and the work our practice has been doing in this area for the Peterborough Housing Co-operative. We have been privileged to lead the design of this new pocket neighbourhood over the past three years as the project has evolved. The development includes both private homes and shared facilities, clustered around a large central courtyard.

The co-housing approach is instinctively attractive because it connects with our ideals of wanting to live well in small communities and of wanting to live more simply and more sustainably.

Now more than ever, people really do want greater choice around how they live in the urban environment. Internationally, we are seeing the emergence of a growing array of solutions to answer that consumer trend. For example, ‘Naked Architecture’ offers buyers the ability to buy ‘shell space’ with no pre-imposed layout so that it can then be finished and fitted out to suit personal needs and budget. The idea is that two different potential buyers will likely have two very different sets of lifestyle priorities, so it makes sense to let them decide how they want to configure their own space.

Sparking a lot of interest in Australia right now, too, is the Nightingale model. This is an innovative, architect-led approach to apartment development that seeks to prioritise social, environmental and financial sustainability. With profits capped, projects are crowdfunded through an ethical investment model and transparency around costs and governance – it’s an approach that is proving very popular (each project to date has been completely pre-sold via ballot).

Of course, the reason why models like this resonate so well is they offer more control. Future residents have a say on key design decisions, such as how much car parking to include or whether to have any shared facilities. They call the shots on whether to have a swimming pool or communal barbecue area.

In my view, any kind of shared, multi-residential arrangement could only succeed if all those buying into it were on the same page, sharing a similar vision. As well, there would need to be clear and effective ground rules in place to minimise any potential misunderstandings or conflicts.

Could something like the Nightingale model work in Christchurch? Certainly, I think it offers some exciting potential for those interested in pooling their resources to get the kind of city lifestyle they want within a multi-residential setting.

Having held a number of interactive forums on architecture this year, through our ArchiChat Group sessions, I’m aware that many people would certainly welcome more choice in this area of urban housing development. At our next round of ArchiChat in November, we will be seeking to gauge interest in potentially trialling this approach at a Christchurch site. Whether you are a developer, builder or potential home buyer, we would welcome your input – register at info@allso.co.nz.

www.allso.co.nz

 

Architect Craig South
Craig South