Text description provided by the architects. The Fendalton Road project explores the love and memory a retired couple have of a home and site they have occupied for over thirty years. A two-level 1910 home was destroyed in the devastating 2011 Christchurch earthquake and subsequently demolished. A new home was required within the footprint of the original. An existing formal garden adorned the level site and was to remain untouched for the new home. The owners’ established connections to the site and space were at the forefront of this project.
The new home, with its white, triple-gabled roof, looks to honour the memory of the spatial relationships of the original home. The design was required to enhance and celebrate these conditions. For the owners, the space is reminiscent of the historic home but revived by a bold contemporary reinterpretation.
The entry hallway is a central hub to the home – enhanced and widened with a ceiling higher than eight metres – it now provides a versatile space for entertaining. The house functions as an airy gallery-like space for the owner’s art collection, and antique furniture – all from their original home. The ground floor spaces are connected through an open circulation but can be manipulated into smaller, more intimate areas by closing large pocket sliding doors, curtains and retractable windows.
The programme places the ground floor living areas and kitchen in their original locations but seeks to highlight the existing garden by reordering the spaces to provide a stronger connection to the landscape. This association, which was once limited by traditional window openings is strengthened with full height openings that provide site lines to the front and back garden throughout the house. A sculptural spiral staircase connects the two wings, and the home is future-proofed with the inclusion of a passenger lift, serving four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the upper floor.