Given renewed life: Wilson and Hill Architects and Gregg Architectural Builders

Almost 100 years after the original was built at Mendip Hills Station,
a new award-winning homestead overlooks the valley.

Following catastrophic damage in the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, Chris Wilson from Wilson and Hill Architects was engaged to design a new homestead. Also on the project was Gregg Architectural Builders, a company with a nearly 30-year relationship with the Black family, building, renovating, and maintaining many of the farm buildings on Mendip Hills Station.

The new five bedroom, four bathroom homestead, a finalist in the recent TIDA New Zealand House Design of the Year Awards 2022, sits on the original site.
The rebuild has brought the homestead into the modern era, while ensuring its history is not lost. A large front door opens into the library foyer, then leads into the living area via two glass doors, showcasing panoramic views.

The grand yet inviting kitchen, living and sitting room has high pitched ceilings, with exposed Oregon trusses, and macrocarpa tongue and groove sarking. Other features include timber mantels and panelling, and a leadlight window, all of which come from the original homestead.

The large entrance foyer doubles up as the library, and leads to a guest powder room, large office and a customised billiards room with original timber wall panelling and playing table.

The downstairs master suite includes a bath from the original homestead. Upstairs are three bedrooms, a family bathroom, and a small chapel with original timber wall panelling and a stained glass window from the chapel at the owner’s
quake-damaged house in Christchurch.

A true heritage home

The old homestead was built in 1924 after Norman Rutherford took over following the deaths of his father and brother in WW1. This building was a replacement for the previous homestead, which boasted its own manmade lake, after being destroyed by the 1901 6.9 Cheviot earthquake. The building was re-built using double-skin concrete walls with air gap, a common technique in this era.
In 2016 the 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake caused widespread damage to many buildings on the station and irreparable damage to the old homestead.

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