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Reconnecting with home: Dream Doors

The great thing about Cantabrians is our ability to turn a minus into a plus – be it earthquakes or pandemics, we know what to do; we roll up our sleeves and keep ourselves busy with home improvement projects.



Adrian Kay of Dream Doors Christchurch can attest to that, as the demand for kitchen and laundry renovations, replacements and new build kitchens is on the rise.

“As overseas travel is curtailed, people are reconnecting with their homes like they never have before; they want their home space to feel like it’s the best place to be,” says Adrian.

Dream Doors ensures the process of creating that transformation is as seamless as possible, from the first consultation to establish client requirements – be it a few cosmetic touches, a major overhaul or a completely new build – right through to the installation, which Adrian and his team strive to keep to the minimum amount of disruption to family life.

With a wide range of quality Aotearoa product choices in benchtops, doors and cabinetry, Dream Doors not only upholds the ethos of locally made, but connects us that much more closely to home as we face these interesting times ahead.


Bright idea for Dark Sky: Sheppard and Rout

In winning the brief to design the award-winning Dark Sky Project, Sheppard and Rout have once again excelled.



Director Jasper Van der Lingen, along with Jonathan Kennedy and Duncan Barron, led this important development which houses the newly restored 125-year-old Brashear Telescope, an astro-tourism facility, an observatory, experience area, a café/bar/restaurant, retail, a gathering space for visitors and tour groups, and administration spaces.

“The clear night skies above Takapō are iconic,” says Jasper.

“And this building contributes to the re-orientation of Takapō towards its setting and dramatic mountain backdrop, rather than the highway.”

The large central astronomy dome is the dominant focus from a distance, acting as a marker when arriving into Takapō from the south, heralding it as a centre for the large dark sky reserve of the greater Mackenzie region.

The result of a detailed process of consultation, discussion and negotiation with a number of parties including Ngāi Tahu and local rūnanga, the building is striking, wholly fit for purpose, and has cultural meanings intrinsic at all levels: from form and structure through to the experience area itself.

2020 NZIA Canterbury Awards Judges gave it a rapturous citation: a “bold and brave insertion into the traditional context of Takapō – an assertive dissent from vernacular orthodoxy – and the result is a successful convergence of horizontal and vertical elements: Rangi and Papa in harmony.”

And that the project reveals “a clever interweaving of Māori mythology and scientific discovery through its multi-layered spaces. The Brashear telescope adds a suggestion of steampunk, a quirky twist to the simple forms elsewhere.”


Multi-prep for Multi-Use Arena

Preparation for construction of Christchurch’s $473 million Multi-Use Arena continues, with contamination testing, utilities work, transport planning and formation of a project board underway.



Construction of the 25,000-capacity, roofed stadium is due to begin on the site bordered by Hereford, Tuam, Madras and Barbadoes Streets in February.

Until then, Christchurch City Council is working with Enable, Vodafone and Orion to plan and relocate underground services such as water, power and communications cables across the three-block site. Fibre cable hauling is already under way.

Three water systems in the area are being redesigned using 3D modelling. Conflicting water mains and stormwater pipes will also be relocated from the site.

Results of contamination tests are pending to inform if any asbestos, fuel and coal tar need to be removed from the site and enable a tender to be developed.

A transport assessment is also being completed to diagnose and mitigate any impacts on pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private vehicles by scheduled works.

Land Information New Zealand is clearing buildings from the site, and the project board is being formed. Murray Strong – who chaired the steering groups for Te Pae, the bus interchange and Metro Sports Facility – has been named as chair.

Christchurch City Council has allocated $253 million to the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, and the Crown has approved $220 million towards the project from the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Fund.

The stadium will host sporting and music events when completed, which is estimated to be 2024.


A Dream Update: DJ Hewitt

A bespoke kitchen and bathroom makeover refreshed and updated the heart of a 1940s home.
A Canterbury couple moved from rural life to leafy Fendalton, but first handed the keys to DJ Hewitt Builders to transform the essential rooms.



Originally with a kitchen revamp in mind, they took Daryl Hewitt’s advice to simultaneously renovate the bathroom and ensuite, to save both time and cost in the long run.

The project was complete within three months – the best decision they could have made.

Both practicality and design were of equal priority, so local interior designer Davinia Sutton was commissioned for an exciting kitchen reinvention.

“The brief was for a bespoke functional custom-made design to blend with the classic architecture,” says Davinia, who had recommended the build team to her clients.

“I’ve worked with Daryl on other projects. He is hands-on and has a fantastic, high-calibre reliable team who I always collaborate well with. Craig the Project Manager was on board every day.”

“They had respect for the design and the journey to create its reality. We all worked together for the same goal, to achieve the client’s dream.”

The kitchen area, in classic warm white, was tiled to represent a textured bagged brick wall with Italian hand-cut and glazed tiling, designed not to be perfect.

Hidden handy details included in-draw knife blocks and power points in the cupboards.

A wine fridge, an extendable swan-neck tap, and a glass designer lamp melded style and practicality.

The space was not large, but monolithic tones created space to the eye.

A raised bench wall gave the cook privacy and still a full view through the lounge to the picturesque stream-boundary garden.

The upstanding bench formed both sideboard with flush cupboards and the rooms’ natural divide. The French-Oak veneer matched the stunning handmade oak table perfectly.

For the modern bathrooms in warm classic tones, the client’s daughter’s interior design skills were bought to fruition, with a washbowl feature, retro-style small tiling in the shower, and ample mirrored cabinetry for lightness and storage.

The couple were delighted the timeline was completed without a hitch, and attention to detail from the entire team was especially appreciated.


New Brighton’s Hottest New Project




Christchurch residents and visitors will soon be making the most of New Brighton’s revitalised foreshore with the much-anticipated opening of He Puna Taimoana, the New Brighton hot pools.

The hot pools are part of the wider regeneration of New Brighton, led by Development Christchurch Limited (DCL) on behalf of the Christchurch City Council.

The work includes exciting public projects which are transforming the foreshore, along with a focus on the business centre and surrounding area.

Apollo Projects ensured the vision became a reality, completing the hot pools project in less than 12 months.

“The complex has five pools, a cold-water plunge pool, steam and sauna rooms, changing and toilet facilities, naturally-lit reception and café areas and first aid and staff facilities,” Project Manager Keeva Irving says.

“The landscaping, both internal and external, has been designed to bring harmony to the complex and provide a user-friendly yet robust space.”

The pools are all different sizes and shapes, and range in temperature from 12⁰C to 40⁰C.

Apollo Projects became involved at the tender stage.

Chosen as the preferred contractor, the team worked with DCL using value engineering to reduce costs and enhance the project’s buildability.

With a tight site, sandy substrate and exposure to weather, the team programmed the build into phases to best manage the issues and then co-ordinated the planning with all the sub-contractors.

The marine environment meant DCL’s design team had to carefully select functional and durable materials.

The Apollo team’s success is down to carefully planning every detail, along with regular and effective communication with all parties, especially DCL and Architect Andrew Watson.

Apollo Construction has worked with Christchurch City Council on a number of other successful builds, including Normal Kirk Pool, Scarborough Splash Pad and the award-winning Taiora: QEII Sport & Recreation Centre, and the company hopes to work with the council on future projects.

“We think the hot pools will be a valuable asset to the New Brighton community and represent an important role in the overall regeneration of the area,” Keeva says.


A spoonful of colour

If you’re finding yourself twiddling your thumbs this summer and wanting an excuse to start some D.I.Y projects, we have just the one for you.

Aside from looking cute and quirky, dipping your wooden spoons in paint can also be very practical.

Searching for anything in your utensils draw or pot can be a bit of a mission… all the items begin to look the same in a pool of silver or wood.

This will never be the case if you distinguish with paint and colour code accordingly. Why not assign a certain colour to every utensil?

Soon enough reaching into the draw for the blue handle of the salad server will become second nature.


A charitable endeavour

Juliette Capaldi’s first love was always photography. Now after a battle with cancer, the local mother of one is turning the lens on a charity project close to her heart. She talks to Metropol about her passion project.



“My dad gave me a camera when I was 10 or 12, so photography was something that always inspired me,” Juliette says.

“Then I went away and did a million other things,” she laughs, “my degree, travelling, working overseas.”

A bit over 10 years ago and newly married, she was looking for something to sink her creative teeth into. “My husband said, ‘what do you really want to do?’ and I was like ‘be a photographer’. He said, ‘well just do it, I’ll support you 100 percent’”.

And in 2009 Etta Images was born… but the universe had another baby in store for Juliette and her husband Rob. “I got pregnant the first month I started the business!” she laughs.

Juliette had previously been involved with a charity photography project for the Make a Wish Foundation, where the photographers donated their time and the session fee went to Make a Wish.

“I think only three of us took it up, but I thought what an amazing way for photographers to be able to raise funds, why not try it myself?”

She had been helping with Ronald McDonald House (RMH), cooking meals with a friend so that was a natural fit for a charity. “They’re just so amazing at RMH with what they do; they’re the perfect charity,” she says.

So she launched plans for ‘Love and Mums’ – a project that would see her photograph 75 local mums and create a beautiful coffee table book from the images. She reduced her usual session fee of $99 to just $65 and the entire $65 would be donated
to RMH.


“I have a strong passion for getting mums in photographs with their children. So often they are behind the camera and often avoid it on purpose, worried about how they look.”

But again, the universe threw another curveball. In March this year, the 45-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer was large, she says, but it hadn’t spread to her nodes. It was picked up at her first screening as part of the nationwide programme for women over 45, so it was caught early. “I encourage all women to go. Even if you don’t like it, just go; it’s such an amazing service.”

The discovery of a second lump cemented her decision to get the full mastectomy. “I’ve got a boy who is nine, coming up 10, and I just wanted to survive for him,” she says.



Miraculously, only one session had to be rescheduled, with a heavily pregnant mum and her daughter, due to the number of tests Juliette had to undergo. “Luckily, we managed to reschedule a week later and baby waited!” she says.

One person did have to miss out because I was having a mastectomy two days before the shoot, but I was back shooting 10 days later to finish off the book!”

It’s not the first time cancer has touched her life. Juliette’s mother’s first husband died of cancer, when the youngest of her five half brothers and sisters was just three months old. Her grandmother died of cancer and, last March, her dad died of cancer
– something she still finds painful to talk about.

Now she’s moved her focus to a new project – ‘Love and Dads’. This time, the proceeds will support cancer research; same concept, this time with dads. “My best friend is going through breast cancer and a mum at my son’s school is going through it. So to be able to do something for the Breast Cancer Foundation feels really good.”

So if you’re wanting something special to make your relationship with any fathers in your life, get in touch. It’s all for an amazing cause.

To find out more and to book in a session for Love and Dads, visit and follow the Facebook page,



Metropol has two copies of Love and Mums to give away to two very lucky readers. To enter, please head to our Facebook page and follow the instructions.