Park Terrace - H+M Builders | ArchiPro

Park Terrace

When H + M Builders arrived on site, the opportunity was immediately clear with a high-spec, unique home ready for construction. 

“This was a great opportunity for us as our background is in high-end, bespoke architectural projects,” Matt Stephens says.  

What this meant in terms of what would be a complex build was the need for detailed and comprehensive planning from the outset. “All the bespoke detailing this job included meant we needed to be on the top of our game immediately. Because so much was tailor made, there was no room for error and lead times were longer than usual due to the customisation of material components.


“This project really was one of a kind, and being in a busy, inner city location on a tight site only added to the complexity of it.”

What transpired over the 14-month build was meticulous planning and detailing across every aspect of the project, including everything from access to exacting details on bespoke pieces ordered months in advance to achieve complex lines and curvature.


The nature of the site, which has a frontage on a main thoroughfare route for entering Christchurch CBD, and the fact it is surrounded on three sides by other residential sites, meant there were very limited options for storing materials and for key elements to be lifted into place.

“One of the properties, located to the rear of a neighbouring site was vacant during the build so we were lucky to be able to use this for some storage and access. A key element of the upper level of the home is the large skylight window. To get that into place, we negotiated the use of a portion of a neighbouring property and were able to crane it into position. We also lifted two oversized patio doors into place – doors that allow access to a patio carved out of the gabled form between the upper open-plan living and kitchen area and the master bedroom.”


Another key feature of the upper level is the dormer windows. “Each dormer was made with one 3.6 metre sheet of steel to avoid joins, despite the risk of minute measurement issues that would require a unit to be completely re-made, we wanted to create a stunning, high end finish and that’s what we were able to do.

“The detail between the steel and the gib was important in creating the desired finish as well. Originally, negative detailing was drawn into the plans but the decision was made to eliminate that and instead create a flush join, which was really effective. It gives it a really clean, crisp feel and accentuates the sharp contrast between the gib and the hard, raw finish of the steel.”


It’s these sorts of details that required constant monitoring on all aspects of this build. On the exterior facades, for example, the bricklaying had to be precisely managed, with grout lines changing fractionally across the elevations to ensure the bricks met the windows exactly. 


Inside, Matt describes the ‘spine of the house’, which runs from front to back on both levels, and is the line from which all others are taken. “The spine starts with the downstairs hallway, which is lined with hot rolled steel. This wall wraps around and right up the stairs– the same line continues through into the kitchen where all joinery is exactly parallel to where the wall ends at the top of the staircase. Everything runs along this plane, which meant all the different products from the kitchen joinery to the staircase handle to the under-stair toilet wall needed to be dealt with in exacting detail to ensure the line continued seamlessly in each area of the house.


“Part of being able to achieve that was knowing exactly what was happening very early in the process so we could make sure everything aligned as we required it to.”


The internal steel windows and doors are another key feature of the interiors, contributing to an industrial-style feel that contrasts with the timber panelling. “Standing 3.2m high the steel and glass wall and sliding doors to the master ensuite and stairs give a great sense of scale and height to the home. Due to the detailing, we chose to get the majority of the units made locally to achieve our desired finish. Complementing the steel windows and doors is a large steel display shelving in the living area that holds the TV and escea fire, which has its own hot-rolled steel flue hanging over the stair void. 


“The house is a contemporary statement on a very prominent site, juxtaposed with its neighbours – a multi-unit development and an original single-level home. It’s a project we could not be prouder of, and one that will define the level of quality we achieve with many projects to come.”

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H+M Builders - Park Terrace, Architectural Build - Christchurch

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