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This in-keeping renovation creates a light-filled, minimalist home, with living on the top level, and an office, art studio and workshop on the lower

Designed by Dalman Architects

From the renovating architect:

Originally built in 1979 and designed by Trengrove and Blunt, this house is located in the heart of Christchurch, along the Avon River and overlooking the Oi Manawa National Earthquake Memorial. 

The site is on the southern side of the river with perimeter walls on the east and west boundaries while the home is a converted two storey plus basement and office building which has been thoughtfully restored.

Our owners (one an artist while the other restores and maintains cars and bikes) wished to create a contemporary, minimalist home, complementing the original architecture, with living on the top level, and an office, art studio and workshop on the lower. 

An extension to the rear provides a new garage, creating a garden terrace above – off the master bedroom. 

The home is open plan, maximising the natural light provided through many skylights in the new roof. 

With one of our owners an artist, making best use of the length of the building was imperative in creating beautiful spaces for art pieces to be displayed. 


To ensure the art studio was well lit and ventilated, a light shaft was designed between the floors, connecting the two levels.

The existing walls are boundary to boundary to the east and west so much consideration was made around windows and how natural light was best considered for each space due to fire. 

The challenge was the existing roof structure was very low at either side with trusses every 1800mm down to 1300mm above floor level, so a decision had to be made early on as to whether retaining the existing was feasible or if a new roof and structure was a better approach. 

The decision was made to proceed with a new roof and structure. 

Running of services including plumbing, drainage, heating and extraction and insulation for the building required careful consideration internally to avoid packing out the walls any more than necessary – as the building was already only just over 5m wide.

Internally, to create the contemporary, light-filled home our owners were after, a white and light timber palette was established early on to provide a relaxing and neutral backdrop for artworks. 

Once agreeing on a new roof, it was decided that the new steel structure would remain exposed throughout the home. 

This led to many of the design decisions with all detail elements expressed in black. 

Existing concrete block, newly painted, retains the original architecture from the outside. 

Kingspan Kooltherm allowed the existing block walls to be well insulated continuously. 

Window joinery was a key consideration aesthetically throughout the home. 

Reeded glass provides privacy and interest while tinted glass assists with heat and UV from the skylights. 

Narrow frames provide the minimalist approach we were after.

Credit list

Renovating architect
Kitchen designer & interior design
Dalman Architects
Window/door joinery
Skylights: Velux – VSE M06 & M08; custom Ridge-fixed skylight by Alutech; exterior windows – APL Metro Series; interior – Potters Interior Systems
Bedroom floor
Timbers of NZ Overlay Flooring System
General heating
Central heating; Variocomp Underfloor Heating System
Awards
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Runner-up
Builder
Rod Hibberd
Roof
Dimond – 0.55 Corrugate profile; Nuralite – Nuraply 3PM roofing membrane
Main flooring
First floor – Timbers of NZ Overlay Flooring System; ground floor – Rubber Flooring Everoll Core Mons 4mm, 60x60 tile
Tiles
Bathroom floors – Designastyle; wall tiles in bathroom, kitchen & laundry – Porcelanosa
Feature lighting
Track lighting, downlights & pendants – ECC

Designed by: Dalman Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Stephen Goodenough

04 Dec, 2022

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