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Elegant Architecture: Borrmeister Architects

The rebuild of an award-winning 1970s abode in Cashmere took cues from its original plans, while modernising and reinterpreting the design into a functional family home. Shortlisted at the recent Canterbury NZIA Awards, the ‘Courtyard House’ features a dramatic promenade entry enclosed in glass and vertical louvres, revealing the heart of the home – a private central courtyard.



The formation evolved from a deference for the original house, which featured a courtyard-like entrance. The new central design was developed to take advantage of passive design considerations, such as enhanced natural ventilation, natural light and wind protection.

Living spaces were arranged to encourage these features and the stunning views of the Port Hills, says Wulf Borrmeister, of Borrmeister Architects. “The central courtyard plan offers visual interest and diversity between spaces, where passages between rooms offer a brief moment to appreciate the natural, well-established garden area at the core of the home.”

The home features an open plan family/dining area, well-appointed kitchen, cosy snug and flexible living areas; the bedroom spaces are framed by ribbons of glazing at ceiling level, allowing extra light to filter into the home, connecting the garden and courtyard.

The elegant compositions and natural, sustainable materials featured throughout the home contribute to the warm atmosphere and economical living spaces – from the horizontal roof bands, oiled cedar weatherboards and raw concrete blocks of the street façade, to the cantilevered roof overhangs and glass-framed cedar walls at the rear and centre of the building.

Borrmeister Architects always strives to create architecture that integrates into the natural world, thoughtfully and respectfully. Visit for more information.



Fleck Construction

A family friendly space: Fleck Construction and Jeremy Kingan Architects team up to build an excellent family home

“I love houses with rhythm,” says Jeremy Kingan, an Architect based in Central Otago. Clearly the judges of the NZIA Southern Architecture Awards agreed, selecting Jeremy’s ‘Fleck’ house as one of the housing category winners for 2018.

Fleck Construction

The rhythmic design concept of patterned repetition is evident in the gabled barn section of the house where the roof is clad in ‘tray’ style steel of flat pan and rib, which is then folded down the walls. Rhythmic progression is provided by the second form and material: a box-shaped wing sided in cedar shiplap. Jeremy’s aesthetic is to stay true to the material he is using and find something intriguing about it. “If you choose to use plywood, don’t pretend it is board and batten; be sure to celebrate its sheet form.”
Rhythm is apparent in the outlook of this home, as well as its design, positioned as it is for maximum appreciation of the four seasons as they cycle across the elevations of Coronet Peak. This stunning northern outlook can be appreciated from the kitchen and family area, as well as the dining and living areas, and the main bedroom.


Fleck ConstructionThe interior features polished concrete, which Jeremy has been incorporating into designs for 40 years “long before it became fashionable” and its counterpoint is planking in oak.

Jeremy says the concept for the house came together really harmoniously: the clients’ architect family member introduced the concept; the clients brought thoughts of their own; Jeremy added his ideas then finessed the proportions and pulled it together.
Richard Fleck of Fleck Construction built the house for his young family. Growing up just down the road from the site, the desire to raise his family in a rural setting made the choice of location obvious.
The family found working with Jeremy straightforward and collaborative, Richard says. “We love the proportions Jeremy produced for the design. Proportions are key to a great home and they are perfect here.”
Not only does the house feature stunning good looks, the space and layout make it easy for a young family to live in.
There are four in the Fleck Construction team, working all around the Southern Lakes area. It’s a flexible company working on larger or smaller scale homes, and on major or minor renovations. Richard says projects come through word of mouth and, while larger architectural homes are now making up a greater share of the business, smaller developments and proposals are always welcome.
The next build is an Arrowtown house incorporating environmentally sustainable features. Richard says the ‘greening’ and increased energy efficiency of homes is a positive step given “the annual struggle with elements, which is the price Mother Nature extracts for living within such outstanding natural beauty”.

Project Partners

  1. Fleck Construction
    Ph: 021 260 4481
  2. Jeremy Kingan Architects
    Ph: 021 178 4304
Condon Scott Architecture

Lofty heights of success: Kelvin Heights stunner thanks to Condon Scott Architects and Trevor Ward Builders

Thanks to the very positive collaboration of architect, builder and client, a stunningly beautiful home now graces the shores of Lake Wakatipu, high up on Kelvin Heights, Queenstown. All involved in the process were so delighted with the final outcome with the project winning the housing category of the NZIA’s 2018 Southern Architecture Awards.

Condon Scott Architecture

“This was no easy project,” says Barry Condon, of Condon Scott Architects, Wanaka. “But I’m passionate about solving the unique challenges that are presented with each new site and client brief.”
The site for this house definitely posed those challenges on which Barry and his team thrive. It is a steeply sloping site overlooking Lake Wakatipu, but adding to the complications was the fact that the footing for the house is a rocky outcrop, which diagonally cuts the site in two. “The clients’ brief was for us to create a family home that would capitalise on the views to the lake and mountains, and which would also have an outdoor area protected from the wind. Not only did we have the site itself to contend with, but also a 7m height control envelope, which restricts roof form heights once over the edge of the escarpment.”

Condon Scott ArchitectureCondon Scott is known for tailor-made solutions using strong design-based architecture. Barry’s solution was a series of stepped levels contained within two wedge-shaped forms, designed to fit under the height control envelope. The southern wedge (containing the guest bedrooms) presents to the street; its stepped metal cladding hinting at the level changes within. The northern wedge is orientated west to the lake view and contains the day-to-day living areas and the master bedroom suite. The two wedges are linked by a low roofed element creating a courtyard to capitalise on morning sun and provide a sheltered retreat on windy days. “With such a challenging site, we had to be innovative. We believe that the solution is elegant and responds harmoniously to the complexities of the site.”

Condon Scott ArchitectureIt wasn’t only the architect who had to grapple with the constraints posed by the site. The responsibility for translating the design from paper into concrete form lay with Trevor Ward Builders of Queenstown. This construction company specialises in building architectural homes and has consistently won prestigious awards at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year.
“Because of the slope of the site we had to start at the lower edge and work our way back up to the street,” Trevor Ward explains.
“The building is literally drilled into the site with starter bars driven into the schist stone for the footings of the foundation walls of the house. The ground-works and up-to-slab level construction took almost half of the build time with the steep terrain making it difficult to access and operate machinery, particularly at the lower levels of the site.”
Trevor and his team are known for the fastidious quality of their workmanship as well as their attention to detail and the Kelvin Heights house is a particular source of pride to them all. “The whole project was undoubtedly a total team effort which was very satisfying to be part of.”

Project Partners

  1. Condon Scott Architects
    Ph: 03-443 7919
  2. Trevor Ward Builders
    Ph: 027-430 1658
Sheppard and Rout Architects

Exceptional spaces: Sheppard and Rout’s award nominated fit-out of ChristchurchNZ’s offices in the BNZ Centre

Our work is shaped by our surroundings and office space is vital in business. Often modern offices have a certain sameness – the blandness of a standard corporate look. Sheppard and Rout Architects set about overturning this convention when designing the fit-out for the new ChristchurchNZ offices in the BNZ Centre, a Canterbury regional NZIA awards entrant.

Sheppard and Rout Architects

“ChristchurchNZ is the city’s economic development and profile agency charged with stimulating economic activity and attracting visitors to Ōtautahi Christchurch,” Sheppard and Rout Director Jasper van der Lingen says. “It needed to be a warm and friendly space; conducive to the development of ideas, an interesting and people-oriented place and one which would also showcase products from the region. We were working to a tight budget and had to be creative.”
The resulting 1200sqm space is both efficient and stylish with its mix of open plan work areas and break out/meeting rooms. “Flexibility was key, so there are meeting rooms for all different purposes – from the very small for privacy, up to mini conference size. Because visitors come to these rooms we made sure they were sited for the best views of the city and the Port Hills.”

Sheppard and Rout ArchitectsThe design also makes use of natural and sustainable materials; timber joinery around the meeting rooms for warmth and carpet tiles made from recycled fish nets echo the natural palette of browns, creams and charcoals, creating a calming mood and effect.

Sheppard and Rout ArchitectsOne feature which pushes the boundaries of what can be done with office space is the lack of suspended ceiling. “We simply got rid of it, exposed all the services and painted everything black. It gives a great sense of increased height.”

Black Rock House

Luxury in Lyttelton: Sheppard & Rout’s award nominated Black Rock House is spectacular

Post-earthquake, the scale of home building is a remarkable spectacle, but few homes have captured the soul of our environment quite like Black Rock House.

Black Rock House

Named for its situation on the Black Rock Headland in Lyttelton Harbour, the house is as secure in its position on the shortlist of the 2018 Canterbury competition of the NZIA Awards: House Category, as it is on the dug-in platform which minimises its prominence in the landscape.
With winners announced on 7 June, the judges must be impressed by the new emphasis this home gives to the phrase “locally sourced materials”. The lower floor is clad in the red rock of Banks Peninsula, dug out of its site. It’s more red than black presence blends into the surroundings, a rocky outcrop with a drop to the sea.

Black Rock House

Jasper van der Lingen, Director at Sheppard and Rout regards it as a career highlight. “It isn’t diluted by the factors that often trim a concept, and the first ideas were in 2007. The concept had time to mature, evolve and get better and better.”
Invisible from the road above, the roof is stunning – solid concrete edged, permanent feeling, organic curves based on the headlands and bays swooping sinuously in and out around the Lyttelton harbour. Jasper’s interior favourite is a sheltered outdoor room. It faces north, where the sounds of the sea magnify as they bounce off the ceiling. Underfoot, the teak decking takes you back to the days of the sailing ships that plied their trade in the harbour.
Bowater Builders’ skilled team made the design a reality. Greg Bowater heads the Lyttelton company started by his father more than 50 years ago. “It’s a generational love affair with building on the Peninsula.”
The steep rocky hillside had its challenges, but the experienced team of subcontractors with a background in this type of project, created the very special outcome. Greg feels privileged to have worked with Sheppard and Rout and the owners to build a home that reflects well on the design of the era – creating its own piece of history. Bowater Builders has another architectural build in the 2018 NZMB House of the Year competition.
Sydenham Joinery was chosen for its high end bespoke quality service. Manager Grant Weston ensured an elite finished product to meet the standards of the home and its outlook. “Working with Sheppard and Rout on architectural builds is an organic and very rewarding process,” Grant says.

Black Rock HouseModern styled, the materials are American White Oak timber veneer, paint lacquer in darker moody blues, and the kitchen in solid stainless steel plate. Stunningly crafted window seats in the kitchen provide a spot to contemplate the view, while the beautiful joinery combinations flow through the dining area and outdoor room, to the luxury of the library fitout.

Project Partners

  1. Sheppard & Rout
    Ph: 03-366 1562
  2. Sydenham Joinery
    Ph: 03 379 6840
  3. Bowater Builders
    Ph: 027 435 9473
Eichardt’s II

Queenstown’s exciting new addition: Wyatt+Gray Architects project Eichardt’s II

The newest addition to the Eichardt’s building family has been shortlisted for a prestigious architecture award.

Eichardt’s II

Eichardt’s II was designed by Michael Wyatt of Wyatt+Gray Architects to have a simpatico relationship with its neighbour, Eichardt’s Private Hotel, with a seamless connection at the upper and lower levels.
Along Marine Parade, the historic 1860’s facade of the Eichardt’s Private Hotel is flat, square ended and rectangular in profile, with plastered schist stone, with the new building mirroring its profile, with Oamaru stone masonry.
The set of two neatly square off the mall to Church Street block; one with a neoclassical texture, the other more contemporary. “Earlier versions of the design were encouraged to mimic the original,” Michael says.
“This is an important addition to Queenstown’s townscape and the design demonstrates that with sensitivity old and new can be happy bedfellows.”
Amalgamated Builders Limited was the builder of the Eichardt’s II project. “ABL was very pleased to have won the base build contract on this prestigious project and then go on to negotiate the fitouts of the shops, restaurants, commercial spaces and hotel rooms,” ABL Managing Director Richard Johnson says.
“The site which was on the waterfront and had buildings occupying 100 percent of the site area made building very difficult, creating many logistical issues which needed to be overcome. This was successfully completed with team work from our suppliers, subcontractors and the consultant team. All in all a project for all to be proud of.”
Eichardt’s II has been shortlisted for a New Zealand Institute of Architects award, Southern Branch, in Dunedin on 8 June.

Clyde House, by Wyatt+Gray

Shaped by the elements: Wyatt+Gray make the shortlist for NZIA Southern Branch award with Clyde House

A house designed to blend into the landscape and withstand the Central Otago elements is up for an architecture award.

Clyde House, by Wyatt+Gray
PHOTO: Marina Mathews.

Clyde House, by Wyatt+Gray Architects, has been short-listed in the housing category at the New Zealand Institute of Architects Southern Branch Awards.
Designed by Michael Wyatt, Clyde House was shaped by sun, view and wind. Wyatt knew the wind roared down the valley from Cromwell so created a balance between shelter and sun.
“The landscape has influenced the shape of the house. It has a goal post footprint, the crossbar being a glazed link between the two wings that provides downstream shelter from wind on each side,” Michael says.
The rural lifestyle block is one of the best on the subdivision as the river is on the eastern side of the house which helps with keeping the property private.
“It was built on a featureless, baron flat site, with hardly a stick to be seen, but it has established growth now and the plots are big enough that you can plant your own privacy,” he says.
The colour of the four-year-old house has “weathered nicely”. Wyatt says it’s a stained cedar to fit nicely into the Central Otago landscape.
“The surrounding hills are long, low and brown and this house is low, long and brown. I’m happy with how the colour has matured,” he says.
Alexandra-based Breen Homes was the builder on this project and Managing Director Lindsay Breen says, “Having worked with Michael before on projects more centred around the Queenstown area, we were more than happy to be asked to price this project a little closer to home. It’s always a pleasure to work with Michael and his team. We also love his designs which are well balanced between style, innovation and buildability.”
The Southern Branch NZIA awards are on 8 June in Dunedin.

Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club building

Architectural life saver: The Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club is riding a wave of award nominations for CoLab Architecture and Bushnell Builders

Already listed on the Honours Board in the new Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club building, CoLab Architecture is now harvesting honours for the project in the 2018 Canterbury NZIA awards, currently shortlisted to win the Public Architecture section.

Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club building

True to its name, CoLab collaborated on design with Aaron Jones of Urban Function Architecture on this authentically community-driven and focussed scheme. The club was built purely with fundraising and donations, with the building industry, the community and the council working together to realise the dream. “It has been a wonderful project and process to be involved with, an extremely successful community project,” says Colab’s Tobin Smith.
Architect Blair Paterson together with Tobin had a unique brief for this building – the location: isolated, the risks: weather, tide and vandalism, the needs: utilitarian, the budget: lean, yet the want was something exceptionally unique. The result is stunning; simple but interesting; elegant but very, very hardy.
The materials are robust and fit the tight budget – which means locally available. The ground floor is concrete block “to account for the fact that the sand dunes are likely to encroach on the site at some point”.
The upper levels are 28mm thick Siberian Larch which can handle the blast of wind-driven sand, and whose colour will dilute into silver over time, blending with the thousand shades of grey evident on so many days in the land of the long white cloud.
The 900 square metre building is actually three wings. The tower contains the control and first aid stations, positioned on the path from the car park to the beach. An external walkway links the next block housing the clubroom and bar plus the replacement Spencerville Community Hall above, with gear storage. Incorporating the hall extends the use of the building from seasonal to year-round. Views and deck are fully glazed east and completely opening to the west. The suite is completed with the third wing hosting changing and bathrooms, offices and gym.
Architect Blair Paterson says, “We would love to be involved in more community projects where we can because while our work is nationwide, Christchurch is our home.”
Bushnell Builders was selected as the main contractor, getting the project across the board with a limited budget through strong buy-in from subcontractors and suppliers. “The construction for this iconic building was a true team effort,” Bushnell Builders Project Manager Brad Austin says.

Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club building “The generosity of subcontractors and suppliers who supported this project requires special mention.”
Bushnell Builders supported this project both in light of the importance of surf lifesaving in the area and supporting the local community. The company prides itself on delivering projects of a high standard while collaborating with clients, consultants, subcontractors and other stakeholders to ensure projects are a successful and enjoyable process.
The Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club building demonstrates the success of this approach and Bushnell Builders congratulates CoLab on the 2018 NZIA nomination and for the success of the project. “As the Larch cladding fades, it will blend with the landscape and the views from the building will add to the grandeur of this iconic building,” Brad says.
“The Spencer Park Surf Life Saving Club is a project that we are very proud of and we believe that as a team we have left a great legacy for the club and community.”

Project Partners

  1. CoLab Architecture
    Ph: 03 379 3309
  2. Bushnell Builders
    Ph: 03 344 5972
Dorset Street Townhouses

Talent for townhouse typology: CoLab Architecture and The Dorset Street Townhouses

The Canterbury earthquakes signified a nor’wester-worthy gust of wind to the burnished flame of the ‘Christchurch Style’ of architecture, snuffing out much of that era’s celebrated oeuvre. Fortunately, Tobin Smith and Blair Paterson, of CoLab Architecture are tending the flicker that remains, providing oxygen to the essence of those mid-century ideas and fuelling their evolution to relevance for this century.

Dorset Street Townhouses

The Dorset Street Townhouses are a case in point. Located in an architecturally important area of the city where streets run rib-form from Hagley Park to the city, the three standalone highly-specified townhouses replace a monolithic art deco block of four flats.
The area’s rich grain of townhouse typologies inspired the gable rooves and elegantly dense forms clad in dark vertical and horizontal cedar. Proximity to the wooded acres of Hagley Park made the use of timber an obvious choice, with the radiance of oak flooring and joinery complementing the double height living room indoors and wooden louvres tempering the window expanses outside.
Cutting Edge Kitchens supplied the joinery and Tobin describes the local firm as “totally fantastic”. Jonathan Parsons of Cutting Edge Kitchens says the companies have had a great working relationship since CoLab’s inception. “We love doing CoLab jobs because they provide all the necessary information and the end product always looks amazing.”
All the company’s joinery is custom made and installed by Cutting Edge Kitchens, which understands the look CoLab is going for and recognises the importance of getting the details right. “On any job we’re happy to talk through options and discuss with them available alternatives in style and price,” Jonathan says.

Dorset Street Townhouses Garry Muirson Builders enjoyed shouldering the task of bringing the well-designed but complex project to life. Director Garry Muirson, says that CoLab was great to work with, and this project was fun to do, as it is their first within the ‘four avenues’. “It is rewarding to know that our craftsmanship on this great design will enhance this historic area for years to come.”
Getting materials on site was sometimes challenging for Project Manager Jade Muirson and his team, given the narrow but surprisingly busy streets. However, the effort was more than worth it and they are thrilled with how this high-profile build has turned out.

Dorset Street Townhouses Bringing diversity to design post-earthquake is important to CoLab and the judges have taken note with this project shortlisted in the Canterbury competition of the NZIA Awards: Multi Residential category. CoLab has been an award-winner each year it has entered; not surprising given its ethos of articulation of local characteristics in form, “don’t force an idea if it doesn’t suit an area”.

Project Partners

  1. COLAB
    Ph: 03 379 3309
    Ph: 021 285 1900
    Ph: 027 4346 981