Light and linear

When Mitchell Coll from Fabric was approached by a regular client to build their second family home, he was presented with a small, suburban hillside plot with difficult access.

“To be honest,” Mitchell says, “the client took a wee bit of a risk to commit to that site!”

The response was to go vertical, as a way of maximising the building’s footprint on the site and securing both light and views in the sleepy and well-established Christchurch suburb of Mount Pleasant.

The delicacy of the ground floor leads the eye to the well-proportioned block above. It is an open-plan, highly glazed, social hub that makes the solidity of the first floor seem as if it was hovering above the ground.

To compound the beauty of the floating solid volume, the architect chose Linea™ Oblique™ Weatherboard by James Hardie, “largely because we wanted a linear element,” says Mitchell of the weatherboard’s profile. “We wanted verticality to bring the proportions back into shape.”

It also helped, explains the architect, that the product was easily customised with a rich, dark Colorsteel® FlaxPod (Resene Element) colour, “as it has the ability to take a darker finish and still be very low maintenance, which was crucial to this project because of the difficult access to the site.

“It is our go-to product when we find ourselves in a situation where we need a highly durable material with low-maintenance needs.”

Was it hard to ensure the straight facade lines that seem to drive the architecture up towards the heavens?

“We get comments from the builders every time of how surprised they are about how easy it is to put up and line up,” says Mitchell. “The clients, also, were really stoked.”

Related articles

Folded lines

Architectural designer Ben Brady creates a modern take on rural living for a couple who had lived on the same land for 40 years. Situated in Spotswood, a region known for its pastoral history, the home is designed to make better use of the site’s beautiful rural setting.

Local lens

The New Zealand Institute of Architects Local Architecture Awards have started to be announced for 2023. Here’s a look at the some of the winning houses in Wellington and Canterbury.

Minimalism on the coast

On the shores of Wellington Harbour, this home for a young family was designed to embrace its coastal surroundings while feeling lofty and contemporary.

Subtle duality

Appearing to both float above and disappear into the land, this Tāwharanui holiday home is a place of tension and beauty.