Clementine Lane Home - Site Architecture | ArchiPro

Clementine Lane Home

The Clementine Lane home is nestled in a valley of St Andrew’s Hill with sweeping views over the Heathcote River, Central City and Southern Alps. The notion of “returning home” was central to the client brief, both literal and figurative. Both owners had recently returned to Christchurch, having had long stints away. Their new home needed to function as a retreat at the end of the working day.

Most importantly, the home had to enable the owners and their dog to inhabit every space. It also had to provide flexibility for more traditional uses, such as overnight stays from extended family, while also remaining compact.

The new home is a restrained response to the distinctive site-specific conditions. The vacant section had several post-quake retaining walls, predominantly flat platform, and established landscaping which all informed the design brief. Two rectangles form the basis for the ground and first floors, placed directly on top of each other, then pivoted to create zones which respond to site level changes.

Clementine Lane was to provide a stage where personality and expression could be playfully explored in built form. The home was to have a sense of excitement and surprise, especially for younger visitors. Architectural nooks, and pops of colour in unexpected places, nod toward this component of the brief.

Above all else, Clementine Lane is not a precious place and the finishes and colour palette have been carefully chosen to avoid constant cleaning up of dirty dog paws!

Clementine Lane takes inspiration from varied sources, such as mid-century modern vernacular, to modular design, and the more modestly sized childhood homes of the clients. A key design intent was to retain authenticity to the original parti drawings.

Rectangular structures pivot to form a central circulation void. The lower level anchors to an existing retaining wall as the first floor rotates toward the sun and the view. The floor pivot creates a soaring under-croft defining the entrance and planted fernery. Internally the pivot creates a forced wedge shaped gallery which terminates to a soften radius.

Preserving the simple integrity of the oblong forms, leads to quirky geometric moments connecting the home to the landscape including a bridge which spans a landscape void connecting the home to a pre-existing court. The glazed west elevation references the surrounding 60s modernist aesthetic. The floors are deliberately oriented to capture all day winter sun, with concrete slab providing thermal mass to passively heat the home during cooler months.

Materials are uncomplicated and simply treated to highlight their inherent qualities. An appreciation for dark cedar led to extensive elevations which highlight the natural rich grain. Cedar lines the entry under-croft and continues into the gallery ceiling. On entry, structural steel makes a bold statement and forms the decorative spine of the staircase. The new retaining wall is left exposed in the guest bedroom and rough concrete paths connect with the polished concrete floor. The deliberate use of finishes blurs exterior and interior edges.

Structural Engineer: Jim Harding Consulting Engineer Limited
Lighting Design: Lume Design
Builder: California Homes South Limited
Photography: Wendy Cook Photography and Abode Photography

House Areas House: 167sqm
Decks and Pool: 121sqm

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