Keep calm and carry on, says the popular poster, and that's just what the owners of this property had to do following the devastating Christchurch earthquakes.
Their old weatherboard home on the site needed to be demolished after the earthquakes, along with their plans for a major renovation. But the need to build a new house did provide an opportunity to improve on what went before, says local architect Chris Wilson of Wilson and Hill Architects, who had already been contracted to design the original remodel.
"Having already planned a new kitchen for the family, which we didn't have a chance to build, I knew what they wanted and what would work for their busy lifestyle," Wilson says. "But firstly, our attention was focused on siting the house in a different position. We decided to move it back from the street to provide better access and space for cars at the front. This also brought the house closer to a picturesque stream that runs along the rear of the property the stream can now be seen from inside the house."
Wilson says the house has a precast concrete panel construction to convey a sense of scale.
"Houses are often built from small modules, such as bricks, but we wanted a material that would articulate the sheer size of this house. The concrete brings a sense of solidity, mass and permanence at the front the panels extend past the top of the building, so they appear to sandwich the roof, which makes the house seem taller. And at the side they wrap right along the house, reinforcing the strong, solid feel."