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Tru timber never lies: Timber Tru

Not having enough storage space, having the wrong kind of storage space, the wrong shape or size can be one of the most frustrating things in your home or business. Stop pulling your hair out and have a chat to Tony van der Plas at Timber Tru.


Bells Road Project


He says they’ll come up with clever solutions that are both practical and look good. Wardrobes, storage units for the garage, or a unique shelving concept, they’re all about making everything fit – beautifully.

For more than two decades Timber Tru has been designing and crafting quality joinery for Canterbury homes and businesses. Whether it’s storage, kitchens, laundries, bathrooms, timber window frames and doors, it’s all covered by Timber Tru.

They’ll listen to you to ensure you get exactly what you want and Tony and his team can work from your existing plans or work with you to come up with a design that captures your vision and make it a reality.

The choice of materials is not limited to timber, it’s completely up to you. Veneered timber, plywood, melamine, whatever suits your vision and budget. The joinery isn’t where the service ends, they can organise benchtops, hardware and complete kitchen installations as well.

Restoration of joinery in historical or older buildings requires a specific approach, sometimes it’s for a completely new look and sometimes it will be more subtle, so the work doesn’t clash with the original space.

Tony says they take pride in knowing how to work their joinery magic in these special places, for a flawless result. “I really enjoy these kinds of projects, it takes vision, imagination and a careful approach to get the right look.”

For your peace of mind Timber Tru are members of the Registered Master Joiners Federation, the team has over 50 years combined experience, so they’ve seen it all and done it all.

“Well maybe not quite all, maybe we’ll soon get a client that presents us with a completely unique job!” says Tony. Now there’s a challenge, but they’re up for it.

The cooler months are the perfect time to get interior jobs done, and if you’d like a place for everything and everything in its place seek the answers to your storage woes with Timber Tru.

Contact Tony on (03) 389 2986, via or have a look at the photos on the Timber Tru website.


Awarding local architecture: NZIA

Spectacular homes, striking commercial buildings and artistic community facilities are among 42 Canterbury projects shortlisted in the 2021 Canterbury Architecture Awards. The projects signal the start of the highly anticipated annual Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects awards programme.



The shortlist was compiled by the Canterbury branch of the national industry body, led by William Fulton of Fulton Ross Team Architects and rounded out by Craig Moller of Moller Architects, Peter Kent, Biljana Pesun and lay juror Jenny May.

The winners will be announced on May 19, and include a number of beautiful homes around Christchuch across three housing categories. One is The Idris House by Alessandro Quadrelli Architetto (featured on this issue’s cover).

A stately Spanish-esque home overlooking Governors Bay by Philip Kennedy Associates Architects, a home made from concrete and copper by South Architects, and Spark Square by Sheppard & Rout Architects are also included.


Other shortlisted projects were across the hospitality, education, heritage, public architecture, interior architecture, education and small project architecture categories.

These include the New Brighton hot pools, He Puna Taimoana, by AW Architects and Select Contracts; Waipapa Christchurch Hospital (formerly known as Christchurch Acute Services Building) by Warren and Mahoney Architects, Chow:Hill Architects and Thinc Health, and the Taylor’s Mistake Surf Lifesaving Club Pavilion by Wilson & Hill Architects.

The Public Trust Building and Muse hotel, both by Three Sixty Architecture, are also finalists, as is Lyttleton’s Eruption Brewery by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture and Studio at the Yard by Three Sixty Architecture.


A full list of finalists, and tickets for the awards evening on May 19 at the Christchurch Town Hall, are available at Metropol will feature some of the projects in more detail in coming issues.


No pane, no gain! Bates Joinery Ltd

Autumn is the perfect season to ensure you’ve got your condensation under control, and if that means new windows – it’s important to choose a joiner who can preserve the look of your home while ensuring drafts and moisture are kept out. Bates Joinery follows the highest possible standard in New Zealand when it comes to manufacturing windows.


Owner Mark Allworthy has run the business since 2008, and says his team is well known for their kitchen work, timber stairs and shop fit outs – but specialise in manufacturing windows and timber doors, too.

“A lot of people in Christchurch have old character villas with timber frame windows,” he says. “If they are doing renovations, we can ensure the frames protect from moisture and drafts while retaining the original character of the home.”

In new builds, Mark and his team follow Master Joiner New Zealand’s highest protocol of window manfacture, JMF4211, which in some instances can be the difference between the home passing its council building inspection.

The protocol is only available for members of the industry association, which holds members to the high standards of overall skill and professionalism. Learn more about JMF4211 and Master Joiners at

Contact Mark and the team on (03) 388 111, search Bates Joinery on Facebook or visit the website below.


Pool party! Lagoon Pools

As Kiwis are rediscovering their own backyards are the coolest place for fun and entertainment, the quest for pools has never been higher, and Julie Hastings of Lagoon Pools says if people have decided they want a pool, they really need to be proactive.



“I would recommend getting things in the system without delay. Lagoon Pools install throughout the year, so anytime is a great time to start the process.”

A big trend coming through is for 5-metre pools. A smaller garden or backyard takes on a whole new aesthetic with a pool that sparkles, reflects light and enhances the outdoor living space in so many ways.

Added features, such as spa jets and fountains, bring that extra touch of poolside panache. The range of sizes, up to 12-metre pools, really does offer something for everyone.

Lagoon Pools will undertake an entire project, from pool installation to landscaping, paving, fencing and surrounds, but also readily work in with architects and designers.

A visit, by appointment only, to the showroom is ideal for inspiration, and customers can take home an information pack.

Alternatively, Julie suggests emailing a photo of where the pool’s envisioned to be, or an onsite consultation to discuss the area and details. Phone 0800 927 282.


Putting the Green in building: Green Builders

A substantial three-bedroom house interwoven with nature has been an enjoyable project for the team at Green Builders.



Nestled into the bush-clad hillside, the home is just 90 metres from the high tide as well,” says Director Reuben Green.

“Jason Higham at Higham Architecture designed the home to be at one with its surroundings, cladding it in linea in sea fog and stria in lignite, with a dark tray roof.

“A favourite feature is the natural timber flooring in American Oak in the entry and living and kitchen area, which connects to the 170sqm decking,” says Reuben.

Built to capture the views and the sun, the over-height windows and doors are complemented by the over-height ceiling in the living and entry.

“Working out of town but sticking closely to our schedule showcased our rigorous project management,” says Reuben.

“And that always includes enabling clients to bring in subcontractors or products of their choice.”

The programme is continuously varied for the team, and also on track is a heritage-style house in Sumner, as well as a contemporary bach at Castle Hill.

“Our goal is to have everyone delighted with results at the end of a build, and especially that we have very happy clients.”


Windows flying out the door: NK Windows

With international travel largely off the agenda, Kiwis are turning their attention to improving their homes, with everything from wardrobes to windows receiving close attention. Martin Ball of NK Windows tells Metropol about the window options flying out the door.



Martin has noticed a major increase in renovation activity.

“We are ready and able to make stunning windows for every home style and situation,” he says.

“We offer a range of over 45 colours, with the woodgrain finishes being popular at the moment, as well as opting for different exterior and interior colours.”

The sliding door range is popular with clients seeking to enhance their indoor-outdoor flow. It comes in four main types; multi slide (stacker), tilt and slide, smart slide, and lift and slide.

Included in this range is some of the only true airtight sliders in New Zealand.

The team create thermally efficient uPVC windows and doors, “because they are warmer, safer, quieter, and greener,” says Martin.

The window profiles are manufactured in Germany under strict environmental regulations.

NK Windows

“PVC doesn’t contribute to deforestation or require massive energy resources or regular maintenance. Most people are surprised to learn about the environmental friendliness of PVC,” he says.

Celebrating 20 years in business this year, the team is one of the most experienced in uPVC windows and doors in New Zealand.

Martin says: “We’ve seen pretty much every situation and solved every problem so far – we do love a challenge.”


Gleniti oasis: Chilton + Mayne Architecture

This elegant sanctuary at Gleniti strikes the perfect balance of personal and social space. Designed by Chilton + Mayne Architecture, the brief called for a modern, contemporary family home which maximises space, sunlight and views, and which works in harmony with the site.



Director Garry Mayne and his team ensured large windows and sliders create a fluid transition from indoor living spaces to the covered outdoor area and decking.

The swimming pool and sheltered outdoor living maximises the external environment, and each space experiences the wonderful views to the immediate environment and beyond.

Open plan living with a raking ceiling contributes to the sense of airy calm and makes for seamless entertaining with a state-of-the-art kitchen at its heart. Glazed opening placements have all been carefully considered in a passive solar design approach of harnessing and managing the sun’s energy and storing it in the thermal mass of the polished concrete floors.

The 374 sqm home sets a crisp architectural statement with the use of white plaster cladding alongside local Timaru Bluestone accents adding depth and contrast.

The Bluestone is carried into the interior and is also used in the landscaping.



Uncompromising craftsmanship: LOC Construction

While the size of jobs can vary from a several million-dollar project to a small renovation, there is never a variation in the quality of the work done by LOC Construction


“We specialise in architectural designs and hill work, but we give equal attention to a bathroom renovation – every client gets the same build quality,” says Team Manager Tom O’Connell.

LOC Construction recently completed the townhouses at 129 – 131 Edgeware Road. Featuring metal tray roofing which is also used as cladding on the sides, the front and insets combine cedar and plaster finish.

The team used a new ground improvement system called Terafil, a Mainmark product, and the high-end landscaping was completed by Goom Landscapes.


The townhouses are designed by South Architects and focus on maximising the utility of the relatively small site, “They did a really great job – a telling feature is the larger than usual bedrooms in the homes,” says Tom.

“It’s fantastic to see them completed and all the spaces come together.”

LOC Construction has now turned its attention to repurposing the Kate Sheppard house from a private residence to a public centre to celebrate Kate’s story, “It’s great to bring our craftsmanship and uncompromising high standards to this much-loved historic home,” says Tom.


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.