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Old Souls


There’s not many ‘old souls’ left standing in the Christchurch central city, which makes the opportunity to showcase any effort to maintain them a good one.

 

Photo: CCC/Newsline

The former Wellington Woollen Mills building at 96 Lichfield Street and the Design and Arts College building at 116 Worcester Street have each received $600,000 toward their multimillion-dollar repairs and refurbishments.

Christchurch City Council staff had recommended $900,000 for each building, but with only $1.2m left in the heritage grant kitty for this year, councillors decided against dipping into next year’s $1.5m budget, instead opting to cap the amount at $600,000 each.

Both properties are classed as ‘Highly Significant’ buildings in the Christchurch District Plan.

Dating back to the 1930s, the former State Insurance building in Worcester Street was designed by renowned architect Cecil Wood, in association with Paul Pascoe.

It has art deco influences and was first used as offices for the State Fire and Accident Insurance Company and for the Lands and Survey and Lands and Deeds Departments.

The building was damaged in the earthquakes but has changed hands since then. The new owners – 116 Worcester Street Ltd – have plans to fully upgrade it and restore this golden oldie’s historic façade, including the original coat of arms. Its new use will be for living and rental accommodation.

The second notable building is the former Wellington Woollen Mills building, a category 1 historic building in Lichfield Street, which dates back to 1920.

It was designed by architect William Gummer, whose firm Gummer and Ford, was responsible for many significant buildings around New Zealand including the Auckland Railway Station and the former National Art Gallery and Museum in Wellington.

Designed in a pared-down classical style, it was one of the first commercial buildings in Christchurch to feature glass curtain walling.

Currently hiding behind scaffolding and mesh, the new funding will be a welcome addition in the process of breathing life back into the building.

The new owners (Wool House Investments Ltd) hope to both repair and upgrade the structure.

The Central City Landmark Heritage Grant Funding Scheme was set up by the council after the earthquakes to help owners retain, repair and strengthen the central city’s remaining historic buildings.

To date, grants of more than $13.5 million have been made to 12 different heritage restoration projects.

The heritage grants for the two buildings have been granted on the condition that full conservation covenants are registered against the property titles.


 

A forever home: DJ Hewitt Builders LTD


The Robinson family wanted a forever home that had it all – functionality, space and loads of storage with its own special signature.

 

 

After a two-year house hunt and realising building was the answer, Emma and Logan researched wisely and chose Daryl from DJ Hewitt Builders, who also helped choose the best section. The 926sqm site of an old villa in St Albans was perfect.

Now the high-pitched roofline and random-width cedar and plaster exterior, blends with the street’s historic homes. 

“We have two young children so we needed a place to grow with us,” Emma says of the four-bedroom, 296sqm O’Neil Architecture-designed home.

Looking through to the lounge and garden from the front door exudes eternal space.

A cavity slider meets at the media room and kitchen/dining corner, sitting flush with the ground-level kwila deck.

The kids run from lounge to lawn and play cricket or pick homegrown veges and the open pantry leads out to the herb garden.

“Daryl helped us find cost-effective options where we needed them and had solutions for everything. Tara, his wife, was so helpful as our Interior Consultant, with lots of little pearls of wisdom. I always wanted a blue front door, and she suggested changing the aluminium joinery colour to suit, rather than going for our choice for the rest of the house – she was absolutely right.”

For family functionality, a cloakroom resides beside the entrance with an adjacent storage wall.

Other space luxuries are a large laundry, linen cupboard and under-stair storage.

The suntrap alcove with a large inbuilt window seat and library shelving is an inviting and much-admired spot.

“A key reason to build was to have a warm, dry house so we included underfloor and centrally-ducted heating.”

The upstairs bedrooms have separate temperature controls, with sensor lights for the bathroom and stairwell.

The master bedroom has an ensuite at the entrance, then a large walk-in robe incorporates a recessed stepladder leading to useful attic storage.

“The people who worked onsite and in DJ Hewitt’s office were outstanding; always really helpful and professional, nothing was ever a problem. The after sale service has been superb, with clear communication every step of the way and they’ve kept following up with everything.”

“We are so happy with the result – we will never move from here!”


 

True design and build


In the home building industry, offering a complete design and build service can be an attractive marketing tool, but whether a company can actually deliver is another matter. Craig Freeman, Director of David Magill Builders says you need to look behind the glossy websites and smooth commentary to discover if a company really ‘walks its talk’.

 

 

The team at David Magill Builders offers design and build in its purest form, demonstrating upfront transparency, true flexibility and an unbeatable ‘can-do’ attitude that puts the client ahead of business.

Flexibility lies at the core of a true design and build service; to earn the title it must be about making ideas into reality in the way the client wants it to happen.

“While we have strong relationships with local designers specialising in every type of home, we happily work with your chosen designer and products you like. We also have our own highly skilled, longstanding sub trades, but can work with contacts and resources that you might have, as long as their standards match ours. It’s a point of difference that we are very proud of!”

Brought to every detail of each project is Craig’s legendary attitude.

“I challenge others saying ‘it can’t be done’ – we disregard reasons not to and through lateral thinking we zero in on how we can get it done,” Craig says.

So intent is Craig that he will engineer solutions himself.

“Bespoke is more than a word; it’s being able to do it. We make it in the workshop or on-site using hand tools – and if you are not doing that you are not true design and build.”

The craftsmanship skills gained from ‘old school’ carpentry experience has bridged the gap between old and modern high-tech systems; resulting in some impressive ingenuity in design and build – often only seen in architectural homes.

For one owner, a copper front door was a heart’s desire.

Difficulty in product supply resulted in Craig and his team custom making it in-house for a fraction of the cost.

Meanwhile an existing house with a double stud height lounge room was designed to have a circular mezzanine floor added to create a library space.

The engineering plans specified an octagon with a circle inside – an ‘outside the square’ request.

An expensive continuous circular 100mm-deep beam was required, so Craig made it in-house, drawing the beam on his steel bench, calculating the dimensions, dividing the circumference into six individual pieces, making a form in the workshop to press the laminates together, cutting and fitting the pieces, before fixing the beam on site.

The end result: another very happy client. Now that’s design and build!


 

Intrinsic Elegance In Fendalton


Intrinsic elegance characterises the twin town houses at 18 and 20 Fendalton Road, designed by Jorgen Andersen at Arthouse Architects. “The design is classically Christchurch, a strong gable form that achieves an aesthetic that places the houses at home in the city,” Jorgen says.

“We then softened the outline by using three different pitches in the gables which lends a draping effect over the garage pavilion. The colour palette chosen is a traditionally crisp Christchurch black and white.”

With a ‘lock and leave’ concept in mind, the two houses, which are not identical but similar, are low maintenance in Integra Rockcote and ‘tray’ roofing.

Vertical dark stained cedar is used low to be easily accessible for maintenance and louvres add a depth to the façade.

“We’ve chosen great hardwearing materials but broken the mass, playing with the terrace house idea – they have wonderful street presence as a pair,” Jorgen says.

The principle of functionality was exercised throughout: high ceilings and light oak floors plus a minimised need for corridors ensure there is as much space as possible in a modest footprint. Original trees on the berm in front add ambience both looking in and looking out, “And they read differently through the seasons”.

“This project has been particularly relationship-based and collaborative which is our preferred way of working.

We find a team approach brings the best success,” Jorgen says.

“We work frequently with Form Builders. We find they are always looking ahead, are solution-focused and are great at addressing small issues, which ensures they never become big issues.”

Form Builders has been working in Christchurch since 2008. “We really pride ourselves on the strong bonds that we have within our Christchurch community, including subcontractors like Design Windows, employees, local sports clubs and professionals like Arthouse Architects,” Director Matt Stevenson says.

Collaboration is key to Form Builders also.

The company believes that the client receives a higher quality and more functional home when the architect, builder and client work in unison from the beginning.

“The two homes have been seamless to build – working directly with the developers and architect from the beginning meant they have all been on the same page and worked together to create a great finished product,” Matt says.

“Form Builders are proud to have been able to build two high end town houses to an exceptional quality within two years and believe this is due to great processes and collaboration from the beginning. With Design Windows’ exceptionally high-quality products, along with such high level of customer service, working alongside them is a simple task. Design Windows are a core part of the Form Builders family and we cannot wait to continue to grow with them.”

The windows in the homes are all by Design Windows. “They are skilled and professional; we work with them all over the country and there is a really nice continuity to that,” Jorgen says.

“Again, it is a collaborative process that we like and they are a real go-to for bespoke projects.”

The Design Windows team is delighted to have worked on the houses; the level of detailing provided by Arthouse means that little further discussion was required.

Design Windows has been working with Form Builders for the past seven years, so each house could be run by a different foreman, with no impact at all.

Form Builders works with its subtrades and their families to nurture relationships, making Form a tight-knit team. The goal is to work together to exceed clients’ expectations.


 

Flooring with a story


This New Zealand story goes back decades, so too does the story of Foret flooring, which was founded almost a century ago.

 

Stephen Goodenough Photographer

At the heart of this local business, is a love of timber and, while sometimes these magnificent buildings can’t remain, Foret’s suppliers carefully and respectfully salvage their essence, providing timber that has stories in its soul. Imagine at the heart of your design project, timber that has a legacy of hundreds of years.

New timber is being sourced all the time and every piece is special – sometimes very rare.

Sourced from reputable suppliers from genuine reclaimed demolition material or declassified mill product, the company’s reclaimed timber is carefully and respectfully salvaged to keep its essence and its story intact for your design project; heritage-rich timber for future generations to enjoy, cherish and admire.

Foret flooring tells a story of how the past meets the sustainable future with its European-sourced French oak.

It is primarily sourced from a family that are true artisans in the French timber industry.

Established in 1921, this third generation family business is truly passionate about timber and their mill, taking immense pride in ensuring a consistently high quality product.

The company only sources timber that is milled from sustainably managed and PEFC-certified forests.

Foret is proud to offer to you this collection of quality French timber flooring and engineered flooring boards from the Loire Valley that is renowned for tradition, innovation and expertise.

Reclaimed, recycled, repurposed timber, where you’ll find a little bit of history in every piece.

Email alan@foret.nz or call 021 766 750


 

Extend your summer!


Hello summer! We have long awaited your arrival and are happily basking in the great outdoors once again. Summer just can’t help but bring friends and family together for barbecues, enjoying cool beverages outside and finally getting to uncover the patio furniture that has been in hiding for the past several months.

 

 

The timing is perfect for expanding your indoor living into the warm and sunny outdoors.

Louvre Solutions can create a custom space that suits your individual needs with a rain-censored louvre roof, complete with options such as pull-down side screens, LED lighting and heat lamps.

Entertaining at home has never been easier and Canterbury-based Louvre Solutions, owned and operated by Craig Rogers, knows how to create the perfect outdoor space.

Whether you’re entertaining, relaxing, or simply expanding your indoor area, Louvre Solutions can bring your ultimate outdoor environment to fruition.

The louvres move at your command to allow full sunshine, filter shade or provide solid rain protection.

The roofs are water proof and you will no longer need to cover your outdoor furniture, barebecues and upholstery, as they will be protected from the harsh New Zealand elements.

Louvre Solutions’ louvre systems are manufactured with quality elements, precision engineering and aesthetic options to realise your vision of the ultimate outdoor space.

The patio louvre system is strong and conforms to all wind and snow load requirements.

The louvres integrate flawlessly into any architectural style. Louvre Solutions manufactures its louvres from extruded aluminium which offers greater durability than traditional patio covers. These components will outperform fabric and plastic in heat, wind and rain.

“When we started out, these premium products were prohibitively expensive and reserved for the elite,” Craig explains.

“Even with ongoing improvements and advancements in technology to our products, we are able to offer Louvre Solutions at an affordable price to a wider market. We are now able to be accessible to markets from entry-level properties to very high-end spec homes.”

There are many benefits to a louvre roof, ranging from aesthetic to practical and environmental.

They are a brilliant addition to homes and can be proactively planned as part of the design and build process or can be retrofitted once the need is identified post construction.

On a practical note, the roofs create shading when required and light and heat from the sun when necessary which can significantly reduce energy required for cooling and heating.

With more than 15 years in the industry, Louvre Solutions’ reputation has been built on a solid foundation.

Craig and his team pride themselves on their burgeoning portfolio of repeat and referred business generated through word of mouth, independent builders, architects, landscape architects and building companies.

Louvre Solutions manufactures its products at its Canterbury-based factory.

A louvre roof can be ready for installation within four to six weeks, making today the perfect time to order yours to ensure an extended summer of outdoor enjoyment.


 

Unique approach to home design: Designer Homes


Designer Homes (DH) Senior Executive, Ajit Kumar, says it’s been interesting to follow the evolution of architectural designs over the last decade. Prior to then, New Zealand homes tended to be of one architectural influence – such as Victorian, English cottage, Greek Neoclassical, Cape Cod, Ranch and Spanish – but a far different approach to home design has since taken root and is flourishing; the finest examples of which can now be seen gracing our landscape up and down the country.

“We don’t see singular architectural designs in New Zealand any longer,” Ajit says.

“Today’s homes are about reflecting the lives of the people living in them. Our designs are client-driven because it’s paramount we meet their needs and requirements.”

Ajit says the typical New Zealand family home of 2020 might be a design that’s a blend of influences and styles – be it European, Asian or American – reflecting their cultural heritage and experience.

“For example, a client might request a kitchen reminiscent of kitchens in India, to give that touchstone of familiarity, as well as function and purpose, but the rest of the plan may well be something that has a ‘Kiwi feel’ to it, which complements and completes the overall design seamlessly.”

With a DH build, clients can choose from either their single level or double level plans and, with a template of pricing based on three build categories – Standard, Grande and Luxe – it makes for a straightforward and simple process when it comes to budget parameters.

Proud to uphold their motto that they build homes literally from the ground up, the team at DH follows an eight-step process (which can be viewed on the website under Our Process), to ensure each project undertaken is a full and collaborative working relationship with clients to achieve their dream home, from the moment the site is chosen right through to build completion when the keys are handed over.

With the team currently working on five residential projects in Auckland and Christchurch, clients are assured that their build is in the hands of extremely competent, professional people whose knowledge on developing bespoke interiors and exteriors is rich and vast.

The underpinning philosophy of DH has always been the close link between the disciplines of architecture and interior design. Key to achieving a home that’s beyond ordinary is to plan the home that is timeless and survives design trends.

“Our homes are distinctive because they not only reflect the individuality of the people with architectural designs of their choice, but they’re also the most innovative in design and, with an attention to detail as to colours and materials, clients are assured their home will look just as superb 30 years from now as it does today,” Ajit says.


 

Surprising & Smart


There is nothing so gripping as a mystery slowly revealed and that is what you get with this surprising and smart Marama Crescent home, designed by Ben Brady of Linetype Architecture and built by Dean Harrison from H3 Builders.

 

 

At street level, the observer sees the garage and entry way, angular and facetted in stack bond concrete block.

Those who make it across the threshold then see the home expand into the courtyard downstairs, with a stimulating range of spaces and orientations.

The sloping site generated three levels: entry, down to main living and master bedroom, down to two further bedrooms on the lowest level.

Extensive glazing provides sight-lines through the building to capture views of the city around to the Kaikoura Ranges, from that vantage.

Large windows frame the vistas from each room while clerestory glazing above the living room captures light.

With easy care in mind, the owners sought low maintenance and solidity, choosing cladding in powder coated aluminium in Bronco and Canvas Cloth, with colourfast timber composite Innowood.

They also briefed a concrete floor to provide solidity, building performance and heat, but this required a robust structure involving plenty of steel with panels underneath, designed by Ben.

“There are almost as many structural drawings as architectural drawings for the house,” he says.

Connected yet separate spaces are a feature, as is a blurred concept of inside and out.

Concrete block is used inside as interior pillars, and an off-form concrete beam plus the courtyard extend in to support the top-level landing.

Vaulted stagger patterned poplar plywood ceiling, in the living areas connect them to the upper level.

Ben found Dean impressive to work with. “He needed very few calls to get his head around the structure. He is so enthusiastic, with high standards and close attention paid to sequencing.”

Dean says, “We loved the build complexity: angles, three-storeys and the sheer variety of elements, which included exposed insitu concrete beams, honed concrete blocks, pre-finished cladding and timber ceiling.”

Hands-on every day from shovelling mud, to project management, Dean loves the challenge of a hill site.

“Ben’s plans were great and he is easy to work with: always ready to discuss ideas and solutions. The enjoyable challenge created a really great house.”


 

The foundations of a good home


Your home is your castle, but it’s a faulty fortress if the foundations are not solid. Precision Solutions is the expert in levelling every type and age of home, on every foundation. Offering a free assessment of your home, the Precision Solutions team then collaborates with a select team of builders and project manages all the way from paperwork, to a levelled, repaired and finished home.

 

 

“This is exactly the moment to give us a call to get your earthquake repairs completed once and for all,” Contracts Manager Charles Porter says.

In August last year, the government announced a $300m policy for homeowners of over-cap on-sold properties in Canterbury to apply for an ex gratia government payment to have their homes repaired.

You can also apply for the payment if you still own your home but believe the repairs done post-earthquakes were not satisfactory, or overlooked leveling.

Details and registration are available at www.eqc.govt.nz, but you must register by 12 August, 2020.

Managing the paperwork with EQC can form a significant part of the project and Charles will work with you on this every step of the way. Working remotely is no problem.

“We’ve releveled a home in Beatty Street for an owner based in Australia and another in Switzerland.”

The team relevels around 40 homes per year.

“We love what we do – building relationships with clients. It is great to be able to help someone who might have been really struggling to get where they need to be.

“We feel a real satisfaction looking at the finished project knowing that our client can now move on with their life.”


 

A stand-out showhome


Hallmark Homes invites you to visit their outstanding new show home at Te Whāriki. Co-Director of Hallmark Homes Mike Bonne says that, while this home is built to executive standard for the homeowner ready for the finer things in life, the company can vary all its plans to suit your needs and budget.

 


* Find the showhome at 162 Southfield Drive Lincoln, open Wednesday to Sunday 12pm-4pm or by appointment.*

Presenting an airy room-to-breathe 2.55 metre stud, the home has four bedrooms with two living areas.

The whole home is ‘smart’, with lights, curtains and blinds, doors and the garage door able to be controlled remotely by voice activation.

With interior design plus exterior colours and tile selection by Sandalwood Design, the icing on this very desirable cake is provided by the al fresco room, which could easily be classed as the third living area.

Temperature, moisture, shade and air movement are all yours to control in this entertainment or personal escape space.

At 40 square metres, this amazing room features a raking ceiling, three solar controlled Velux skylights, a full outdoor kitchen with rangehood and fridge, television, speakers, outdoor heating and barbeque.

Sliding stacker doors retract into the wall, opening onto the private garden with a water feature and green wall. “The al fresco room is next level,” Mike says.

“It’s a standout; a real favourite for me.”

The entrance is lined with cedar sarking and beamed with dummy rafting. Lighting is provided by designer LED fittings.

In the lounge, a cathedral ceiling framed by a large picture window provides plenty of light.

A metallic charcoal Venetian plaster wall with gold flecks along with a frameless Rinnai fire create ambience together with the extensive LED lighting.

Drama is created by a vaulted ceiling, found in the open plan dining and family room, and wellbeing is enhanced by a built in TV cabinet and circular timber shelving on a Resene Fuscous Grey backdrop, which certainly makes a statement.

The oversized Caesarstone kitchen bench runs to 6.5 metres, hosting twin sinks, a pair of Bosch ovens and a scullery with plenty of shelving hidden but easily accessible, while a study recess spells productivity combined with easy access to refreshments.

The master bedroom is a palette of soft neutrals and earthy tones combined with a bespoke Nordic pine geometric headboard dimly lit with LEDs, creating a cosy and restful atmosphere to unwind.

An elegant freestanding bath elevated on a plinth and flanked by Italian feature tiles is positioned beneath two Velux windows, allowing for stargazing while you soak.

Outside, 100 square metres of decking meets a fully planted and irrigated garden.

“It represents our commitment to excellence,” Mike says.