Premium home on prime site
A show home designed and built by Dwell Homes for a stunning riverside site showcases outstanding architecture and impeccable workmanship.
In the leafy blue chip suburb of Fendalton there are many fine homes but few enjoy a site quite as spectacular as this prime realty – 925 square metres of land bordered by the sweeping curves of the Avon River. For Bryan Doull, director of Dwell Homes, it was love at first sight. The then-existing dwelling had been declared uninhabitable after the Christchurch earthquakes and the property was begging for a redevelopment that celebrated the unique aspects of the site.
Bryan, an architect with more than 30 years’ experience designing and delivering bespoke projects for clients, realised the potential this spectacular land package presented to showcase his own skills and the comprehensive planning, consenting, design and project management capabilities of the business he started 12 years ago. “Dwell Homes specialises in sustainable architecture, using sustainable materials to build site specific homes tailored to our clients. This site offered us a chance to show what we are capable of,” Bryan says enthusiastically. The end result is an impeccably presented and desirable, highly specified home.
The site presented some challenges and the consent process took more than 11 months to finalise. Foundations required innovative engineering solutions and the home is elevated more than a metre to accommodate the TC3 site development requirements. Partial cantilevering and wrap-around decks provide seamless access to the garden from every room. A modular system of overheight glass doors is replicated on every face of the home. Each room has two or three 1.5 metre wide sliding panes set back into the cladding in a unique installation system.
Designed as three pavilions, linked by an expansive central hallway and a sheltered recessed courtyard, the cedar clad home features the finest and most innovative building materials and finishes. Bryan’s life and business partner Lena, an interior designer, was intimately involved in the project and the couple collaborated closely from the outset. That attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the generous 340 square metre home, which includes four bedrooms, large living rooms and a kitchen and dining area that is as impressive as it is spacious.
Lena says she had a lot of fun detailing every feature in the home, choosing the best materials and fittings to realise her ambition: “to make the interior worthy of the architecture.” Bates Joinery produced joinery for the kitchen, pantry, laundry, and walk-in robe in the master bedroom as per the specifications provided by Bryan and Lena. Many of the materials selected for the home have only recently become available in New Zealand.
In the kitchen, custom designed light fittings hang from high raked ceilings. A wedge shaped island bench is centrally positioned and cupboard fronts gleam with matt black and metallic look finishes. Underfoot, Celenio timber flooring, engineered to resemble slate, has the warmth and softness of wood with the aesthetic appeal of stone. Gaggenau cooking appliances, an integrated fridge, Blum legrabox soft close drawers and a combination of 6mm stainless steel and Dekton large format, ultra-compact surface benchtops by Cosentino reflect the desire for high-end componentry, and an impeccable standard of execution throughout. A black matt interior finish is a feature of all the cabinetry. The dining room boasts a feature wall of Prime Teak Veneer.
Bathrooms are lined with large format ebony and grey Techlam porcelain tiles from Brymac Tiles. Selected for their quality, elegance and sophistication, the tiles measure 3000 x 1000mm and can be placed vertically or horizontally. The latest colour samples were brought in from Europe and James Thomson from Brymac and Lena pored over plans to ensure laying patterns were in perfect harmony for each of the wet areas. Stone vanities hang from the wall and, at the rear of the ensuite shower, tiny spotlights cast a warm glow in this ambient cave-like space.
Assorted floor finishes have been specially chosen to complement interior spaces: polished concrete in the hall, sumptuous wool carpet in the living and bedrooms, Techlam in the bathrooms, and in the kitchen and dining room, timber tiles.
Lighting has been paid special attention in every room and replicated in a myriad of ways to create what Lena refers to as ‘little anchors’. “It’s important to create a wow factor in every room but it’s equally important there is consistency throughout the home,” Lena says. Examples include concrete hearths on either side of the Escea gas fire in the lounge that mirror the polished concrete in the hallway; mini versions of low hanging globe lights on either side of the bed in the master bedroom also feature in the guest toilet, and the strong vertical and horizontal lines of the exterior cladding are echoed in the hallway and in timber slats that line the lounge walls and ceiling.
A1 Decorating, an award-winning company specialising in new interiors, was contracted to paint the home. The use of numerous substrates drew on their extensive product knowledge and superior skill to achieve the best results. Raking sunlight from the large windows and sliders, along with specialised wall lighting meant that top notch preparation was required. Resene broadwall surface was chosen to give a consistent finish. Lena’s desire to let the architecture ‘do the talking’ inspired the simple colour palette. Throughout the interior 1/8 Rice Cake provides a clean contrast to exterior stain Naturetone Carben and Naturetone Seashell.
The highly insulated home is bathed in sunlight year round. Extended eaves provide respite from the sun during summer and attract sunlight in winter. Gas fires in the dining room and lounge have been chosen for their contemporary styling and clean simple lines that accentuate the drama of the flames when ignited. Bryan and Lena viewed a number of options before selecting the new Escea DS1150 and Escea DS1650 units from Simply Heat. The fires are flued horizontally to avoid any visual disruption to the steeply pitched roof and each unit is well suited to the home’s modern architecture.
Bryan and Lena have been involved in many projects in Christchurch and in Wanaka over recent years and have developed strong relationships with a number of reputable local suppliers, many of whom made significant contributions to this project. David Beckingsale, owner and director of ProBuild ITM has a long association with Dwell Homes and was proud to work alongside Bryan, Lena and the many subcontractors involved in creating this exceptional home. Residential Roofing supplied and installed Eurolok Tray Roofing, a premium roofing option distinctive for the wide panels and high ribs that catch and reflect light and shade in the contours. The clip installation system requires the skill and accuracy of specialised installers.
David says, “This home has been built to the highest standard using premium products. I came on board long before the first peg was placed in the ground, to ensure every aspect of our planning made for smooth delivery and no delays. Our aim is to deliver the best quality products at the best price, on time. This is a stunning example of an outstanding architectural home.”
The Dwell show home at 9B Wroxton Terrace is open to view on Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4pm or by appointment.
Words & styling: Ady Shannon Photography: Mick Stephenson