Richmond Hill

Graeme & Ros’s unique home is situated on Richmond Hill in Christchurch and is a true reflection of their dream home. The site presented a perfect opportunity to move away from the flood-prone Heathcote river, which had caused flooding in their previous home. The design brief was focused on creating a personalized home that would make the most of the scenic views of the ocean and the adjacent reserve. The design was inspired by the styling cues of the port hills, with burnt brown corten finish and board-formed concrete used to replicate the browned-off grass and grey basalt color of the hills’ outcrops, respectively.

Protection from the wind was a major consideration as the site is very exposed. To achieve this, a U-shaped design was adopted to provide an outdoor area that would enjoy the views while being protected from the elements. The living areas and the main bedroom were located on the same level, as the home is imagined to be their home into retirement. The home is formed around a central gallery which houses some of Graeme & Ros’s art, providing access along the house while visually opening up the space within the kitchen and dining room.

The pitched form of the house was desired despite planning height restrictions, and this played well with the jagged hills surrounding the site. The gables were also utilized to their full potential, forming vaulted interior spaces in the living areas and a study above the garage. To keep the home warm, large north-facing windows were installed, and good insulation was carried out on walls and roof to retain the warmth. The floor acts as a heat sink for the warmth to be released during the night. Overall, this is a personalized home that has been carefully designed to maximize the views while providing protection from the elements.