Designed by Ken Powrie, South by Southeast Architects
From the owner/architect:
Project’s site and context:
The site is located within the Port Hills which are a range of hills in Canterbury, New Zealand, so named because they lie between the city of Christchurch and its port at Lyttelton.
They are an eroded remnant of the Lyttelton volcano, which erupted millions of years ago.
Despite the heavy deforestation and clearance of native bush that took place during early settlement, a diverse range of wildlife and plant life populates the Port Hills.
Native birds such as the bellbird (korimako or koparara) fantail, silvereye, grey warbler and shining cuckoo are commonly found in the remaining bush.
Indigenous plant species such as Banks Peninsula hebe inhabit rock crevices along with rare ferns.
The more exposed hillsides are covered with silver tussock and other native grasses, unusually so for an area so close to urban development.
The site is North facing with a topography that has a 3m bank running up from the roadside to a natural plateau.
There are prominent volcanic rock seams that run through the site.
The Port Hills and the South Pacific Ocean are the dominate natural features, with views to out to the Bar (surf break) and back to Sumner Ridge.
The prevailing winds are NE / E which can quickly cool down a sunny day, with the SW proving the potential for a very strong wind coming over the ridge from Lyttleton.
The colour palette of the site is unique with the volcanic rock, native grasses and ocean providing a strong place-based character.