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Hillside sleek: Smylie Builders


In completing this stunning SDMC Architecture-designed home on Cannon Hill, Smylie Builders have provided a fabulous outcome for the owners, who faced tribulations in getting back onto their much-loved site post-earthquakes.

 

“Topography dictated the design, and we were involved in the whole process from design to completed build,” says Smylie Builders Creative Director Chelsea Smylie.

“We were able to achieve a seamless build that fitted within our client’s budget.

“The strength was in the partnerships we have between the designers and subtrades.”

The homeowners had a clear vision of the aesthetic and Chelsea was able to work with them on all their interior choices.

The result is sleek featuring dark cladding and kitchen, fused with some elements of fun – a kiwi bach vibe, think retro wallpapers and tiles, splashes of colour, and plywood ceilings with negative details throughout.


Colorsteel cladding and a 22m roof all on one plain enclose a hidden, plywood-lined band room-slash-teenage hangout accessed via a step from the garage, creating a cave-like feeling.
The study is connected to the hub of the house with an internal window above the feature barn track yellow door.

“The building process was highly interesting with the combination of timber retaining walls, concrete retaining walls, suspended concrete floors and suspended timber floors, lots of structural steel and suspended walkways, including drive on deck,” says Managing Director Nick Smylie.

“We were determined to deliver a home that would make this family feel it was all worth it: personalised; and it had to feel like a fresh start.”


 

Rattan revival


The appeal of natural fibres in the home refuses to wane, epitomised by the resurgence of rattan, cane and wicker furnishings. Playing into trending aesthetics of modern bohemian, rattan freshens up the mood of any room.

 

Airy and durable, rattan has been used in furniture design for centuries. The climbing vine, which grows mainly in southeast Asia, can be peeled off in strands and chiselled and hammered – often laboriously by hand – into flat rattan ready for weaving.

Cane is from the outer part of the rattan tree and the inner core, along with bamboo, willow and raffia, is often termed wicker.

While popular in the ‘70s, modern cane, rattan and wicker seldom features in full dining or lounging sets anymore – unless for outdoor furniture. Instead we’re seeing more standalone statement pieces.

Think situational chairs with boxy wooden frames and webbed rattan insets, or buffet and side tables with the same style panelling.

When it comes to home accents, we’re seeing baskets, bed heads, light shades, shelves, mirrors, trays and even book ends in the light organic wood composition.

These vintage vibes have been making a comeback for some time, and don’t seem to be going anywhere fast – touted by Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue as decade-defining.

Oft seen in the pages of the world’s most stylish magazines and in curated social media feeds paired with soft, neutral fabrics and ever-popular indoor greenery, the light wood also lends itself to being coupled with bright pops of pinks, oranges and blues.

Statement or subtle, weaving rattan, wicker or cane into your décor will bring a little romanticism to any space.


 

Winning by design: Stephenson and Turner


Dennis Chippindale’s passion for living on hills together with his desire for easy living combine in his own home high above Church Bay, looking across Whakaraupo/Lyttelton Harbour towards Quail Island and the Port Hills.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY SIMON DEVITT

 

Having lived on hill sites in Wellington, Dennis loved the views but disliked houses spread over many levels.

As a Principal Architect at Stephenson and Turner, Dennis was able to design his own home to be single level so “it follows the contours of the site so it is long and thin.”

Artfully blended into the landscape and clad in cedar, the house is barely visible on the hill and from the roadside, “We love that its modernist and extended shape blends in a bit like a DoC hut,” says Dennis.

An outside room provides alfresco living with protection from the muscular easterly wind. Sustainable and energy efficient, the house – which won a 2020 Local Architecture Award – more than twice code for insulation.

The 200-degree view is a favourite, but boulders the size of cars – a legacy of the Mt Herbert lava flow – that had to be shifted, have morphed from a serious construction challenge to an authentic character landscape feature Dennis and partner Sahra love.

The design was realised by residential and commercial construction experts Proceed Building. Director and qualified Joiner Ian Mayer says: “The project had a lot of detail, from the birch ply and cedar panelling, to the oak trusses and maple veneered doors, which required a great deal of skill and time to get the detail perfect.

“The curved bookshelf, bathroom and wardrobe joinery and shelving were made on-site and installed by the team. It was an exciting journey working with clients Dennis and Sahra.”

A favourite characteristic of the build for Ian is the way the house curves into the hillside – that was a complex aspect of the project as well. “It is a beautiful location, however hill-work provides unusual challenges, and the landscape evolves as you work on it,” says Ian.

“We are grateful to our experienced team and subcontractors for their dedication and skill put into the project.”

 

 


 

Setting the stage: Jaz it up


We’ve long recognised the importance of first impressions and, when it comes to selling your home, those first impressions really do count.

 

 

Staging is a way to put your home’s best foot forward, impressing potential buyers and increasing their emotional attachment to the home, so you get the highest possible price and quickest possible sale.

Andrea and Peter Imboden from Jaz It Up had been selling spec homes in 2016 when Andrea realised it was the styling she enjoyed most.

“We’ve sold many houses over the years and I’ve styled them to get the wow factor. They’ve all sold really quickly.”

When the professional photographers and real estate agents pointed out this very serious styling skill, the couple decided to go all in and they established Jaz It Up in 2017, doing exactly what the name says.

“Our styling is modern style, personalised and we use pops of colour to make your property stand out from the crowd,” says Andrea.

“Colour attracts attention and interest.”

The couple pride their service on being very reasonably priced, professional and they can turnaround jobs quickly, city-wide.

“We take a lot of pride in our staging and provide a warm and friendly service.

“When I finish a property staging, it’s got to have that wow factor; that feeling when someone sees a house and thinks, ‘I want to live here’.”

If you need to dress your home in its Sunday best, phone Andrea on 021 026 82796 and Peter on 021 123 4418.


 

A bit of Italy in Fendalton: Feutz & Goldsmiths


“We thrive on the challenges and demands of building architecturally designed homes. They make us think; they give us the opportunity to show a high level of detailing.”

 

 

Craig Feutz of building company Feutz and Goldsmith certainly had all those opportunities and challenges on his hands with his company’s latest build – a four-bedroom Italianate house in Fendalton.

“The house was designed by Italian-born architect Alessandro Quadrelli and has a myriad of Italian features from its skinnier and longer-than-standard Roman-style bricks to its tiled bathrooms and use of marble and different types of timber,” Craig says.

“Inward-opening windows are recessed into the building. It’s definitely not a run of the mill house, but one that does give a nod to an older style of architecture. It was our job as the main contractors and project managers to bring this beautiful and complex concept to practical and workable life. The quality of finishing required was really next level, but that is what we specialise in and what gives us real satisfaction.”

Feutz and Goldsmith was not just responsible for building the house itself; a project taking about a year and a half.

The company also undertook all the earthworks associated with the build, as well as laying the driveway and doing all the landscaping works.

“Being on the corner of a busy road, access to the site was another issue we had to overcome and problem solve, but we are very proud of the finished home. It’s timeless and a true representation of the work we excel in.”

Ph: 03 359 6046 | www.feutzandgoldsmith.co.nz


 

Queen of its castle


The exterior, as viewed from Queens Avenue, of this striking black cedar-clad home reveals nothing of the forms within and that’s just the way multi-award winning architect Greg Young of Young Architects likes it. “I like making street facades simple and modest, and the most unusual feature of this design is the lack of ‘look-at-me’ from the street.”

 

PHOTOGRAPHY DENNIS RADERMACHER

 

Brought to life by Metzger Builders, the original design brief was straightforward enough: a family home with entertaining space, utilise timber and stone, a glazed gable end linking to outdoor living, with an aesthetic inspired by early-Sir-Miles-Warren-meets-Central-Otago-style.

The creative solution saw Greg and his team utilise the strong but simple gable form, updated with black cedar.

“We concentrated on the pure unadorned black silhouette on the streetscape, and we used that form to frame the living spaces, inside and out,” Greg says.

The entry is defined by warmer natural cedar, which links to the natural timber powerfully visible inside.

“I love the living space with the exposed cedar scissor trusses and dark timber ceiling,” Greg says.

“It’s unusual to concentrate so much on the sculptural effects of exposed trusses in a living space.”

Numerous architecture judges (the awards are stacking up for this property) clearly understood the simplicity and concentration on proportion.

“You don’t need extra detail if you get the form right,” Greg says.

“But actually the best part is how much the owners love it – the people are the most important element of the spaces I design.”

 


 

Luxe Lyttelton build: Phil Benton Builders


Phil Benton Builders is very pleased with the end result of this three-level home that works its way up the hill, with its commanding views of Lyttleton Harbour looking down towards Governors Bay. “The work put in by the construction team was outstanding, with patience and quality of finish exceptional,” Director Dave Fraser says.

 

 

This home incorporates Herman Pacific Vertical Cedar cladding in the colour ‘Goldrush’ and blends it in with CS Roofing Eurolock 450 Vertïcal wall cladding in the colour ‘Slate’.

A pop out Nuwall cladding in ‘Matt Azure Blue’ around a couple of the windows adds a great contrast.

The extensive use of cedar batten shade screens around the house augments symmetrical lines and visual appeal.

They were also used as wind barriers and sliding door screens. Aluminium louvres by Louvretec used as wall and roof shades give privacy and shelter from prevailing winds, which enable all year round use of some of the exterior decking.

The owners intended to install a cable car up the side of the house to help with access.

However, during the building permit application process, it was decided to future proof the house: the owners instead decided to install a European lift by Vestner NZ Ltd.

The lift created an outstanding result in functionality and delivers fabulous views of the harbour as you rise to the living room level.

Heated with Central Heating NZ radiators, the owners are excited about moving in and enjoying all the new technology within their light and warm home, as well as the stunning views.

Phil Benton Builders is proud to be a member of the Master Builders Association and the company specialises in building new architecturally-designed homes, as well as renovations and additions to quality homes to enhance the existing structure.

The team’s focus is on craftmanship and making sure you enjoy the build experience.


 

Architect’s own home entices: Sheppard and Rout


An architect’s owned-designed home becomes an expression of their beliefs and ideals, and this is especially true of the new home of Tim Dagg, Architect at Sheppard and Rout.

 

 

Tim and his family lived on site previously and, for Tim, the context of the site and orientation of the home are always key to the design.

This held true for his own build: the existing north-facing landscape with its mature native plantings, seated terrace and swimming pool have been retained.

With a school and railway line as neighbours, there is no danger of being built out, so Tim designed the entire north end of the house in glass to bring the gorgeous outlook inside.

Materials are low maintenance in natural and neutral hues.

The interior features polished concrete floors, a natural timber feature wall and a balustrade in natural mild steel. Black rubber covers the stair treads, with living room walls and ceiling lined with birch veneer.

Roof and exterior walls are clad in coloursteel, with some easy access areas in stretcher bond brick and in a light stained cedar.

“Our roofer was awarded Roofer of the Year at the Coloursteel Roofing Awards. The job required discussion between the foreman and me and the roofer, and his workmanship and expertise has produced an outstanding result.”

The glass wall is protected by a 1.5m roof overhang to reduce solar gain.

All downstairs doors and windows open fully, while skylights upstairs cross vent and naturally cool. “Energy efficient design is vital in a successful home,” Tim says.


 

Nestled into the hillside: Hofmans Architect x MWH Construction


The seemingly unsolvable challenges of adjacent sites were the ultimate inspiration for NZIA shortlisted Hofmans Architects, when designing these two striking homes in their home village of Arrowtown.

 

 

Suitable for a family of five, each home makes the best of the uplifting views and embodies spatially efficient floor areas, while making a virtue of the site restraints.

The finished homes are not simply a visually pleasing counterpoint to an iconic landscape, but express virtuosity in design as well. The very steep slope has a no-build line as the top two-thirds of the site, a schist seam running through the middle of the site and a tight five metre maximum height plane.

These factors demanded an efficient design set within the lower portion of both sites.

The usual 4m separation was successfully reduced to 2m, which allowed the houses to sit independently of each other whilst increasing the buildable area.

By tilting the side wall and dropping the roof pitch of one property, this allowed the other to achieve good winter sun.

“We are always inspired by our local environment and like to use natural materials that sit well in our surroundings,” Director Maarten Hofmans says.

“The Chinese miners were masters in using local materials that came to hand and creating shelter in an efficient as possible form – something that we have drawn inspiration from. We strive to achieve simple and easily understood solutions. These homes are two simple sculpted shaped forms that nestle into the hillside.”

Corten clads the firewood storage walls and folded cedar wraps the forms, while pushed in recesses define the entry points.

MWH Construction brought the designs to reality and Maarten says, “It was a pleasure to work with MWH, their enthusiasm for a well-executed product always makes us happy as Architects”.

Director of MWH, Myles Herschell says, “the aesthetic of this project was a real drawcard for our team – the houses resemble folded cedar origami. Also, the opportunity to work with Hofmans Architects: their creativity, receptiveness to change and solutions is always a pleasure.”

The philosophy at MWH is to push boundaries, reinterpret styles and challenge notions of what construction can be. Transparency, adaptability, teamwork plus Myles’ own design degree enable MWH to work at the boundaries of architectural inspiration.

 


 

Hillside Haven: Fleetwood Construction


Specialist hill builders Fleetwood Construction receive most of their commissions through word of mouth recommendations, and the newly completed home on Cashmere Hill is no exception.

This stunning project came to Sam and Charlotte from a previous client whose Cass Bay home won a Gold Award in the Master Builders House of the Year competition.

“We thoroughly enjoyed building this home,” Sam says.

“I had a very close relationship with the owners, working with them through the design process with South Architects, and then throughout the build speaking almost daily to them about the finer details.”

The clients met a few builders before deciding to build with Fleetwood.

“We felt like Sam is totally honest, we definitely got that vibe from him. Plus, we visited a friend’s house that Sam had built and they are really happy with it. We love what Fleetwood Construction has created for us – it’s finished really nicely and feels like quality,” says owner Jessica.

The house is a mix of modern and traditional design, featuring crisp clean lines.

Nine aluminium columns run the full height of both floors, making the home feel grand and telling a strong architectural story.

Signature touches abound, starting with the blush pink front door which hints at the stylish interior throughout and leads to the kitchen/living area with its stunning views, balcony, and custom balustrade.

“The team really enjoyed seeing all of the finishing details come together at the end, when the build became a home for our excited owners,” Sam says.