Pavilion Par Excellence
While the quakes dashed one couple's renovation plans, they set the wheels in motion for building a brand new dream from the ground up; a dream realised by Coughlan Construction.
When they first bought their modest 1950s bungalow in Merivale, Simone and Guy had grand plans to renovate; but the seismic events of 2010 and 2011 changed all that.
Having fallen in love with the area, surrounded as it is by beautiful homes and close to the central city and schools, they also appreciated the site’s sunny nor’west aspect; so, when the earthquakes caused irreparable damage to their home, the couple decided to stay put – seizing the opportunity to build the contemporary, pavilion-style home they’d always dreamed of.
The pair’s shared love of ‘symmetry, simplicity and clean lines – combined with natural materials and neutral tones’ – set the tone for the look and feel of the building and its interiors. Inspired by the classic farm-style pavilion, they set about enlisting the services of a builder to realise their vision.
With a keen appreciation for Patrick Coughlan’s quality workmanship, they were ‘very impressed’ with Pat’s professional approach during the tender process, and say that what ultimately won them over was his ‘detailed and comprehensive’ presentation.
With Coughlan Construction at the helm, Pat was onsite regularly to oversee the day-to-day operations. Ensuring timeframes and budgets were maintained throughout, Pat managed the logistics of Coughlan Construction’s own building team alongside the numerous subcontractors, all while keeping the clients abreast of progress and any important decisions that required their input.
And, as the construction journey unfolded, the couple’s faith increased as they marvelled at Pat’s meticulous attention to detail, his professionalism and his ability to find creative solutions to any problem. ‘If something wasn’t quite right, he always provided us with options and enough time to achieve the outstanding result we have today’, Simone recounts.
From the street, classic gables are juxtaposed with sharp contemporary lines, which Pats says create ‘something quite unique’. The cedar cladding has been aged to create a ‘blonded’ effect, while the dark roofline, colour-matched to the soffits, achieves the illusion that the roof is floating atop the white plaster form beneath.
Providing the bulk of building materials, PlaceMakers Cranford Street has a proven track record with builders across Christchurch for their professional approach and efficiency. From loose timber, frames and trusses, to exterior cladding and precast concrete, to interior linings, insulation and plasterboard, PlaceMakers Cranford Street offers the best products and service – to ensure the job gets done well and on time.
Before construction could begin, however, the original quake-stricken home had to be demolished by Mathias Excavation, who then excavated the site and installed a gravel building platform in preparation for the new foundation to be laid. Credit to Pat’s astute organisational skills as project manager, Greg Mathias says they were ‘in and out in good time’ – to the delight of the homeowners, who were eager to see their new home begin to take shape.
Southern Foundations’ owner, Bevan McKeich says the civil engineer’s design called for a waffle style concrete floor to be laid in order to meet the new stringent post-quake codes that building on a TC2 site requires. Filled with polystyrene pods, this style of concrete slab has extra steel reinforcement to withstand any future ground movement.
Seeking a beautiful modern look for hard landscaping areas, including the driveway, patio and paths, the couple opted for an exposed aggregate concrete, which was poured and polished by Affordable Concrete. As with many of the subcontractors involved, Affordable Concrete says they enjoy working side-by-side with Pat and his highly organised team to achieve outstanding, long-lasting results.
Stepping across the home’s threshold, a contemporary atrium is a highlight for both the builder and homeowners. Employing a winning combination of materials, a floor-to-ceiling glazed panel directly opposite the front door provides views out towards the rear garden, and is flanked by two feature walls – one clad in cedar, the other with a roughcast concrete finish.
Divided by the atrium, the home comprises two wings: one leading to the sleeping quarters above the open-plan kitchen, dining and living area, which spills out onto the timber decking; the other wing dedicated to a recreation room for the couple’s two young boys.
Working in close collaboration with Simone and Guy, Misco Joinery manufactured and installed the bespoke joinery throughout the kitchen and laundry, as well as the walk-in wardrobes and window seat in the master bedroom.
Tempered by the warmth of the natural timber flooring, the open-plan kitchen employs a carefully edited mix of materials within a smart monochrome colour palette. The custom-made white acrylic island benchtop with waterfall ends is the focal feature, while white subway tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern add subtle textural interest to the kitchen splashback above industrial stainless steel preparation spaces.
Kitted out with top quality European appliances and storage systems, such as the Häfele tandem pantry and twin bins, the kitchen, with scullery behind, offers the couple a modern, functional preparation and cooking space that connects with the open-plan dining and living area beyond.
Keeping the home warm in winter and cool in summer, heat pumps and ventilation systems were installed by Electra-Call Canterbury, alongside home theatre and lighting systems. Striking the balance between aesthetics and affordability, a mix of Clipsal Saturn and Legrand Excel Life switchgear was selected, and cost-effective and efficient LED task lighting was combined with ambient feature lighting to enhance the beauty of the natural materials featured throughout the home.
‘A real pleasure to build’, Pat says that being able to successfully translate his clients’ vision into a rewarding outcome, while managing expectations along the way, has made for an enjoyable journey for both Coughlan Construction and his happy clients.
Words: Majka Kaiser Photography: Stephen Goodenough