McCormacks Bay - DJ Hewitt Builders | ArchiPro

McCormacks Bay

Situated on a quiet street—with an uninterrupted view of the Port Hills, Avon Heathcote Estuary and the Christchurch cityscape—this site held a special place in the hearts of the owners, having been their home for a number of years.

“Hills sites are always challenging and this was no different,” says Daryl Hewitt, Director of DJ Hewitt Builders. “Then, on top of that, throw in the added significance of the site to the owners and we were acutely aware that we needed to produce something second to none for these clients.

“Designed by O’Neil Architecture, this new property offered the owners the same footprint as their original home but with added amenity and also made much better use of the advantages the site had.”

Daryl says one of the improvements the new design offered was to move the garaging from underneath the house and set it perpendicular to the main structure. This had two benefits; firstly it made for much easier access and, secondly, it also allowed for an outdoor room to be created on top, giving the owners additional outdoor space that they didn’t previously have.

“The design also then allowed for an additional bedroom suite to be accommodated where the original garage had been. However, the true show-stopper is the outdoor room, which maximises the available space and creates unified indoor and outdoor spaces, greatly adding to the long-term amenity of the home for the owners.”

While the finished product is definitely show-stopping, the 18-month build was not without its intricacies, says Daryl.

“First and foremost the site itself posed a number of challenges, not least of which was just gaining access, located as it is down a private road with other houses in close proximity. This also led to the need for careful programme planning to ensure any road closures were kept to a minimum to lessen the inconvenience for neighbours.

“The site is also long and narrow and the design called for a three-storey home, which required a lessening of the slope and the inclusion of a commercial-level foundation, comprising in situ concrete walls.

“Additionally, exterior materials include vertical cedar, a lightweight concrete facade system over concrete block; stone and aluminium joinery—all requiring seamless junctions between materials to create the architect’s vision.”

Daryl says the exacting attention to detail continued on the interior of the home with the incorporation of a number of high-end finishes.

“One of the truly ‘wow factor’ elements of this home is the three-storey steel staircase with glass balustrade, which had to be craned in in sections. Although, if stairs aren’t your thing—a full lift has also been installed, future proofing the home for the owners in the years to come.

“Other successes are less tangible; and in a few instances, completely hidden. As you enter the home, there is a wine room off to the right that boasts a wall of wine, which very cleverly conceals a door into a generous storeroom behind. Similarly, in the open plan living area, air vents for the ducted air conditioning have been concealed on either side of the television.

“For the owners, aside from having a home that will fit their requirements for many years to come, I know one of their favourite aspects is the seamless flow from inside to out from the outdoor room, through the living area and out to the rear patio—effectively more than doubling the living area of the home.

“Every aspect of this home has been well-considered for comfortable and stylish living and entertaining. The landscaping adds to the soothing atmosphere the architecture and homeowners have created; the inclusion of high-end fixtures and fittings in every room including the Philippe Starck vanity and Tom Dixon Marble wall sconce in the powder room speak to the luxe ambience; and the exterior material palette of cedar, stone and black joinery all work in unison to pull the look of this contemporary home together.”

Master Builders House of the Year National Gold Reserve winner.

Words by Justin Foote

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