Journeying through space

This dynamic home leads you on an undulating shrinking and expanding journey from front facade through the interior to the wall of glass at rear 

Designed by Craig South, South Architects

From the architects:

This home is hidden down a private laneway on the eastern fringe of central Christchurch.

Set on a narrow site, use of a traditional gable form enabled the home to make the most of the allowable bulk. 

Rising from the ground at the laneway car court, a lattice screen leans over the entry and solidifies into the first-floor vertical timber form. 

The gable form extrudes out over the first floor office and balcony to the northern side of the home.

The horizontal lines of the ground floor guide visitors towards the entry – beginning the journey through the home. 

This continues past the stair and kitchen – seemingly carved out of a rich timber monolith – and through to living spaces which open out towards the northern garden, as well as having access to morning and evening courtyards. 

Large sliding doors are partly sheltered by the balcony above.

The first-floor windows were strategically screened to create privacy from the neighbouring home while maintaining views of the landscape extending across the river.

The quality of the internal environment was a strong focus for the homeowner, leading to the inclusion of several features such as mechanical ventilation, solar panels, battery storage and sustainable detailing.

Design features and creative solutions

The scale of the home is minimised by bringing the timber lattice screen to ground. 

Then the sense of scale increases through the double height space exposing the timber stair. 

Volume is then decreased again passing the kitchen into the living space. 

The rich timber ply ceiling returns from the first floor living space to ground, completing the journey.

The north façade is largely glazed, allowing engagement with the garden landscape and the Avon River beyond. 

The elevation of the site allows the home to soak in the views of the river and surrounding landscape without street noise and privacy concerns.

The traditional gable form, along the north facade is stretched to create differing levels of shading and shelter, where the form raises from one side to the other encasing the first-floor balcony. 

Fins are strategically angled to encourage views toward the tree canopies beyond, while restricting views towards the neighbour.

With above code insulation levels, details were further enhanced by the removal of dwangs to minimise thermal bridging, the window suite aligning with the thermal envelope.

Internal air quality is managed with a mechanical ventilation system including a filter system. 

This is located within the ceiling space and ducted to various areas of the home, providing a whole house solution. 

Solar panels, and battery storage mean the owners were able to utilise the energy of the sun throughout the day and at night reduce power consumption, while achieving year-round comfort.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Kyla Davies, South Architects
Bedroom flooring
Bremworth 100% wool carpet
Bathroom tiles
Living area furniture
Kovacs, Frontal Lobe, David Shaw
John Garlick Builders
Cedar vertical (stain), cedar horizontal (paint)
Main flooring
Engineered timber, Haro 4000
Weave Home
Dulux Haast Half
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Designed by: South Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Stephen Goodenough

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