After years of bringing othersé dream homes to fruition, Christchurch builder Shaun Campbell of Hillview Construction decided it was high time he built a dream home of his own.
With a shared vision, Shaun and his wife Kate set out to create a stunning architecturally designed home that would serve a dual purpose: to meet the needs of their young family and stand as testament to the vision and quality craftsmanship that sets Hillview Construction apart.
Falling in love with the hilltop views Mount Pleasant has to offer – where the sprawling city meets the rolling sea – this plot fitted the bill. However, to accommodate the needs of his two tiny tots, it was vital the site was levelled before foundations were laid.
Although building on rock proved a challenging and expensive prospect, Shaun says it was a worthwhile endeavour. The home needed to withstand the harsh weather conditions on the exposed site, reflects Shaun. With ‘a heck of a lot of steel’ used in the foundations, the result is an ‘incredibly strong’ home that is capable of withstanding the horrendous winds that whip across the hills.
A street frontage with commanding presence was paramount for Shaun – and this was achieved with majestic cantilevered eaves extending out from multiple rooftops. Shaun’s favourite feature of the build, the eaves deliver maximum impact.
A great believer in creating an unforgettable first impression, high-voltage drama is delivered in the home’s grand entrance with a double height void with a sweeping contemporary staircase as the foyer’s stunning focal feature. Stained American Oak treads appear to float, seemingly supported by the frameless glass balustrade.
‘Using frameless glass delivers a sleek, seamless look throughout the home’, says Josh Simcock of NZ Frameless Glass, who was responsible for installing all interior frameless glass in this impressive hilltop home, including mirrors and showers, as well as all stainless steel componentry.
Drawing the gaze upwards to the pinnacle of the staircase, the double height entranceway is complemented by a cluster of Moooi Raimond spheres. By night, the three orbs – which contain hundreds of LEDs – have a breathtaking effect, lighting up the home’s entrance like a starry sky.
From the front door, one is given a tantalising glimpse of the property’s hillside view to the rear, through a series of black aluminium framed internal glass walls. A striking feature, these industrial-inspired internal glass walls positioned throughout the ground floor create a visual connection between the downstairs spaces, while flooding each area with natural light.
While the design and build was brought to life by Shaun and his team at Hillview Construction, Shaun’s wife Kate had a clear vision for the interiors. In an ode to simplicity, Kate led the direction of the interior spaces and curated the look with handpicked designer furniture, lighting and artwork.
Opting for honest materials, the high-spec engineered timber flooring offers some welcome warmth to an all-white backdrop. Used throughout the ground floor, it leads the eye from the grand foyer through to the formal dining room, kitchen and informal dining area beyond.
All the way from Burgundy, France, this fully-sustainable, eco-friendly timber is milled only from trees that are in the process of dying. Engineered by Listone Giordano in Perugia in Italy, Metro Floor is the sole supplier and installer of this premium hardwood flooring product in New Zealand.
With two bedrooms, master bathroom, living and entertaining areas occupying the ground floor, the first floor is home to the couple's master bedroom, en suite and office space.
The captivating vistas can make working from home - as Shaun does when he's not out on site - a very challenging prospect indeed.
The feature wall in the upstairs en suite also cashes in on the stunning vistas, by offering a sliver of the home’s exquisite view of the Christchurch Gondola. This was a happy accident, says Shaun, and not at all down to careful positioning during the design phase. ‘It’s just one of those things that you can’t really predict until the two dimensional plan becomes a reality.’
To add a touch of understated luxury and textural interest to the otherwise stark white en suite, three dimensional tiles from MO Tiles were chosen for the feature wall, coupled with a standard white wall tile.
Installation of the large format tiles is always a tricky business, says Darren McGuire of MO Tiles. For tiles to be perfectly aligned, it requires utmost precision and demands dedicated teamwork between tiler and builder, made that much easier given the pair’s collaboration on numerous homes over the years.
American Oak vanities finished in a dark stain are offset by the bright, white solid acrylic vanity tops for a non-porous, seamless finish that is hygienic and easy to maintain, says Guy Trethewey from Primo Bathroomware.
With thirty years’ experience designing and manufacturing custom-made bathroom furniture, together with their collection of high-end European ceramic basins and solid surface vanity tops, they created unique solutions to suit this architectural build.
Downstairs, from the sunken living area, bifold doors open out onto the outdoor living areas: cleverly designed so that the building offers welcome protection from the bitter easterly and westerly winds, while still allowing plenty of sun to flood the various spaces.
Plantings chosen for the landscaping were also determined by what survives and thrives in these harsh conditions, with many native plantings and grasses making the grade.
To keep their expanse of emerald lawn lush all year round, Shaun and Kate invested in an intelligent, all-weather automated mowing system, which was designed and built by Husqvarna, the Swedish forestry and garden experts. Their innovative products are built to last, says Michael Smith from Martyns Outdoor Power and Equipment Centre.
Operating on a similar premise to an automated vacuum cleaner, a perimeter wire keeps the mower confined to the grassy area. Keeping their lawn perfectly manicured 24/7, the system can be programmed to trim once or twice a day; the fine clippings mulched back into the ground, nourishing the grass and retaining moisture.
And with two rambunctious boys under the age of five, who love to frolic on the lawn with the family’s energetic Jack Russell, Rusty, Shaun says he now gets to spend more time playing with his kids rather than mowing the lawns – which suits him down to the ground.
From sunrise to sunset, the family can enjoy alfresco dining in their barbeque area or a relaxing soak in the spa, all while drinking in those magnificent hilltop views they’ve worked so hard for.
Although a private home, Shaun brings many of his clients through his front door to demonstrate just what can be achieved. ‘Not many show homes strike the delicate balance between mid-high spec living that caters to adults, while addressing the practicalities of everyday family life’, Shaun shares.
‘We wanted to create something for ourselves that we loved, while appealing to a broader audience that our clients represent.’
Words: Majka Kaiser Photography: Stephen Goodenough