After the huge earthquakes in 2010/2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand, the devastated original home occupying this site was removed, and the land was purchased by our clients. Historically, the city of Christchurch has its roots in agriculture, so we designed an urban take on a typical English pitched-roof farmhouse. The house is comprised of four interconnected buildings, creating a series of courtyard spaces between each dwelling. Each of the four pavilions are connected by flat-roofed glass galleries, allowing large amounts of light in, and views to the courtyards out.
Materials needed to be lightweight so as not to cause safety risks in the event of more earthquakes. The buildings are clad in cedar and left in a natural state to weather and silver off. The cedar runs vertically in fixed applications, and horizontally on expressive features such as doors and ventilation panels. The vertical cedar cladding is continued internally through the gallery spaces to complete the external skin of the four pavilions, allowing them to feel as though they exist independently of each other.
Internally, the palette of materials was confined to natural cedar, oak joinery and oak and concrete floors, lending warmth and permanency to the spaces. The living room features a double-height gable ceiling, creating a sense of volume and light. Photography by Stephen Goodenough