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A jewel in the mall: Dalman Architects


 

The jewel of a building at 94 Cashel Mall has earned a well-deserved win in the NZIA Commercial section local awards for Dalman Architects. A thoughtful project, it carries forward its place in Christchurch history while bringing beauty and interest to the promenade along the mall.

 

 

The original building was single storied, however the Christchurch City Council required at least two stories in the new design. “We responded by making this small building look bigger than it actually is; the façade is extended higher than it needs to be, and the tall oriel bay window further increases the building’s presence as well as providing light into the space” says managing director Richard Dalman. Inside, the building incorporates a mezzanine floor designed for offices and facilities, storage, or retail.

The team cites the late Italian architect Carlo Scarpa as an inspiration in crafting the façade with pre-cast concrete and copper finishes. The interior enjoys a large volume and ply linings create a natural environment. The original building occupied the site for over a century. Its reincarnation references the scale and the long narrow shape of the original, while providing a stylish and modern commercial premise.

Consortium Construction was charged with making the concepts a reality. “We pride ourselves on our practical, pragmatic approach and being easy to work with. Although we tackle large projects, we are not a large corporate ourselves; relationships with clients are always number one and we strive to make the process as simple as it can be,” says Brooke Whiting, General Manager.

Working with Dalman Architects on this job was so straightforward, says Brooke, “The site had its challenges and we worked closely with the team at Dalman’s to carry it through smoothly.”

The timeline was critical with concrete panels having to be placed before the next-door building was completely up. “The logistics were complex but it was enjoyable working in with the neighbouring build to make it happen.”

For Brooke, the building is unique. “The exterior is different – the design incorporated unique concrete panel details in different finishes, plus the amazing copper piece that faces onto the mall, the effect is really cool. The street frontage is narrow and if you blink, you miss it, but it is so worth paying attention so you can appreciate the detailing,” she says.

 


 

Teamwork creates award-winner


 

Design plus setting plus orientation led to a very clear win for Sheppard Rout in the regional round of the NZIA awards, housing section.

 

 

The stunning modernist home was designed and meticulously detailed for the architect’s own family. Set on a long north-south orientated site in Helmores Lane, the site is surrounded by an established garden and the incredible backdrop of trees in Hagley Park and Millbrook Reserve, captured visually to stunning effect from many vantages within the house.

“My own design and detailing ideologies come into play,” says owner and architect Jonathan Kennedy. “The house is well-connected with the external environment with large opening walls of glass linking the internal and sheltered external living spaces, creating evening sun traps and areas where adults and children can entertain independently. It is a ‘social house’ with large sliding doors, spacious open plan living, dining and kitchen spaces all well connected to bedrooms and study. A large double-height volume above the main living and entry spaces connects upstairs with downstairs.”

 

The kitchen creates a set of architectural forms and features in itself, while the latest solar panel power technologies, hydronic water and space heating systems, integrated heat pumps, and automated lighting and audio systems all seamlessly integrate into the house’s design. While the interiors are flooded with natural light, concealed LED lighting effects bring the house to life at night.

Gregg Builders brought the incredible design into being and was an obvious choice, having worked with Sheppard and Rout on a variety of projects for many years. “We really enjoy our relationship with the team,” says Blair Watson, Project Manager for Gregg Builders, “so it was a fabulous opportunity to build Jonathan’s own house, with its incredible design and location.”

 

Highlights of the project for Blair are the Venetian plaster used on the inside of the showers and interior walls, the kitchen benchtops in Italian stone, and the double height void up to the office space. “The design excellence speaks for itself so I think it would have been an easy call for the judges,” says Blair.

The way the home is oriented on the site maximises its unique setting, while the outdoor living and swimming pool design are faultless. “We’ve been lucky to do this great build,” says Blair, “and as clients they were perfect, they knew exactly what they wanted and together we’ve created this remarkable result.”

 


 

Museum exhibits new concept designs


The concept designs for Canterbury Museum’s proposed $195 million redevelopment have been revealed, unveiling plans to celebrate heritage buildings while providing twenty-first century visitor facilities and modern exhibition and storage needs.

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East facade viewed from Rolleston Ave

 

The concept designs by Athfield Architects have captured public feedback and include the addition of a new entrance and café, a new three-storeyed building, and strengthening to bring the site to 100 percent of building code.

The concept designs propose the walls on the northern sides of the original Benjamin Mountfort-designed buildings will be revealed and original exterior elements, including the flèche (slender roof-top spire) on the Rolleston Avenue façade, will be reinstated to celebrate its Gothic Revival character.

A new three-storeyed building will wrap around the north side of the heritage buildings, exposing the original walls to public view. The building will include mezzanine floors, multifunctional spaces such as a new lecture theatre and increased space for permanent and temporary exhibitions.

A second Rolleston Avenue entrance is planned to cater for the more than 750,000 visitors a year and will also house a café with sidewalk seating.

Interior Araiteuru space

Floor to ceiling glass will be added to part of two floors of the Roger Duff Wing – offering dramatic views across the Botanic Gardens to the Arts Centre – and which will house a split-level family café alongside Discovery, the Museum’s natural history centre for children.

Canterbury Museum Director Anthony Wright says the museum has listened very carefully to public feedback, and as a result will put the 26.5-metre blue whale skeleton back on display and place a greater emphasis on Māori, Pasifika and multicultural exhibits.

“The design increases the sense of discovery, surprise and the feeling of never being quite sure of what’s around the corner,” he says. “The way people move through the museum will definitely be improved.”

At the heart of the new museum is a new space called Āraiteuru, housed in the central full-height atrium, which will tell the story of mana whenua and tangata whenua and be home to a new contemporary whare – a ceremonial and educational space.

The new Atrium concept featuring the museum’s historic blue whale skeleton

 

Enhancing lives through design: WSP Architecture


At the start of any project, architects and designers must consider an important question; ‘How will the buildings and spaces we design affect people we may ourselves never meet?’

Words Hailey Sinke – Architectural Designer at WSP Architecture

At its most basic level, architecture exists to create the physical spaces in which people live, learn and work. But architecture is more than simply the built outcome; architecture influences our society and communities in a broader sense, and good design has the ability to strengthen connections within our communities, improve our health and wellbeing, inspire and anchor us to our place here in Aotearoa.

In addition to responding to the fundamental needs of clients by designing buildings which provide for their needs of physical space and functionality, as designers we must also consider how built outcomes will affect members of society who will use and frequent these spaces, both now and into the future.

Connecting and consulting with a range of stakeholders is hugely beneficial to final outcomes. Listening to and understanding the nuances of different clients and user groups – be it groups from central and local government agencies, school and community boards, local iwi, or building users such as staff, students or members of the public – positively influences the design process and final outcome.

Exploring innovative ways to bring the needs and ideas of clients and users together allows designers to create meaningful architecture.

Working on a range of community projects of varying scale and complexity, my intent is to create enduring, human-centric architecture for our communities and for future generations to enjoy.

 


 

Architectural winners revealed


The people spoke when the Christchurch Town Hall was mooted for demolition post-quakes, and it was saved. Now, after substantial restoration, the judges of the Canterbury Architectural Awards have also spoken – and the heritage building has been crowned an architectural winner.

 

 

The public building, built in 1972, took out one of two awards in the Heritage category of the annual awards run by Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Judges celebrated the remediation work by Warren and Mahoney Architects, which preserved the building’s Brutalist design and reflection of post-war austerity with the use of reinforced concrete.

Alongside remedial works, the architects identified several new elements to increase the value and amenity of the building without lessening its integrity, including a new 1500m2 block for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

There were 25 winners across 11 categories of the awards, which highlighted the diversity of Canterbury’s architectural offerings.

From large public-use buildings like the Town Hall and Ashburton’s Bathroom Pavillion (Architype), to Tekapo’s Dark Sky (Sheppard & Rout), CBD The Welder precinct (Three Sixty Architecture) and residential projects like the stunning Chippendale House in Charteris Bay (Stephenson and Turner), Riverside House (Three Sixty Architecture) and Wrightmann House (Athfield Architects).

 

A complete list of winners can be viewed online www.nzia.co.nz.


 

Designing for change: South Architects


Is it possible to design a family home today that will stay in synch with changing needs through future years? Craig South, of South Architects, believes it can be done provided evolving family dynamics are carefully considered in the design process.

 

 

Moving somewhere new every time life changes is not a universal practice around the world and, as our households become more diverse, attitudes are changing here too.

Inter-generational living is becoming more common and influencing home design preferences.

I believe the trend could be towards long term strategic thinking that involves very careful selection of a location and an environment that will have enduring value, coupled with future-focussed design objectives.

Of course, homes should always be designed to allow for planned growth and change so that it can continue to provide value into the future, rather than just current demands.

In fact, we see this evolutionary process happen within our own practice as homes we have designed adapt to meet changes in family dynamics, as the years go by.

Today the concept is moving a step further with designs that effectively combine two homes under one roof.

One such project we have been working on with a client involves designing a house with a self-contained wing, well-connected to the main home and with its own views as well as internal and external amenities.

The goal is to provide a quality lifestyle for extended family with the clients’ parents living in the connected wing.

In another future scenario as families evolve, the self-contained space could be used by older children.

Or the clients could eventually live there themselves, with the next generation in the main home.

The real value of the design is how it supports the concept of an extended family living well together, with privacy and independence in balance.

A desire to add separate yet linked accommodation spaces to the main home is certainly emerging as a design preference in this ‘house for life’ movement.

We can also see a growing taste for smaller bedrooms and more living spaces.

It’s my view that dormitory-style bedrooms could catch on, it works well for families with the extra space used to create a separate living room to socialise with friends.

The key to having a successful inter-generational home is to ensure there is good communication, good planning and having the courage to make design decisions that may seem unexpected in the present context, but will make perfect sense in the future as the family grows and evolves.

As architects, we must consider our clients’ personalities and preferences in order to create enduring bespoke designs that will suit their way of life, not just today but well into the future.


 

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.

 


 

Exceptional on the estuary: MCAS x Ethos Homes


International award-winning architect, Max Capocaccia of MCAS understands that buildings shape us as much as we shape them.

 

Max’s aesthetic results in buildings that not only generate emotion, but perform as the healthiest environment possible for those who dwell in them.

His Rockinghorse Road project encapsulates this holistic approach: attention to detail has produced a home that performs to a very high standard, is energy efficient and does not require heating during winter.

An enhanced timber frame utilises thicker timber and an airtight membrane with interior service cavities to reduce thermal bridging and achieve airtightness and provide well above standard thermal performance and triple-glazed windows are a feature.

Clad in a combination of macrocarpa vertical timber board, and batten and shiplap profile, the three distinct volumes within the home are simple in their shapes, but the subtle complexity of Max’s design means the house marries with its natural setting at sea level on the estuary.

“The main idea was to minimise the visual scale of the building through fragmenting mass,” Max says.

The flood prone situation next to the estuary needed a solution and Max responded to the challenge by creating a small hill as a base for the second volume, with each volume connected by a bridge, smaller in scale, this volume includes the entrance.

“I love the way the three volumes relate to each other, it is a real accomplishment of creativity meeting context,” Max says.

Peter Bielski Managing Director of Ethos homes built the house.

“He was thorough the whole way and communication was clear – it was good to talk through issues on site,” Max adds.

Peter says, “working with Max was a good fit: his design was stunning and building high-performance homes is our forté”.

Ethos Homes was born of a desire to bring Peter’s experience of German high-performance homes to the market.

“Healthy, sustainable homes enhance the lives of those that live in them,” Peter says.

Recognised as Certified Passive House experts in Canterbury, all Ethos projects are blower door tested for airtightness.

“We are passionate that every build provides the best in energy efficiency, health, comfort, and sustainability,” Peter says. “I put my integrity on the line for every home we build.”


 

Captivating retreat: Tim Nees


A hidden Banks Peninsula retreat captured the judges’ eyes at the New Zealand Institute of Architects Canterbury Awards 2020.

 

EDDIE SIMON PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Architect Tim Nees has fronted New Work Studio for more than two decades and his latest project sits among 35 shortlisted for the Canterbury Awards.

The stunning design is one of 13 represented in the Housing category.

While Tim’s clients were ensconced in their 135m dream home, judges had to forgo the usual onsite visits to projects, due to Covid-19 restraints.

Instead Tim was interviewed by phone to paint parts of the picture that photos could not express.

“Nothing beats being there – seeing, smelling, touching,” Tim says.

“These aspects are the essence of a home. However, judges used photos and plans to get a sense of the experience of the home.”

Tim recognised this achievement was a collaborative effort with his clients, and Huntley Quinn Construction.

“Huntley was a good, solid communicator and great solution finder.”

The house is named Houhere, aka Lacewood, after a native tree common to the area.

Construction used little steel and concrete, and instead the sustainable build incorporated nature – macrocarpa, Douglas fir, purpleheart and larch.

Solar power, two water tanks, a generator, and gas heating was integral to the design – off-grid living is at this home’s heart and reason.