Parkridge Place

Mitchell Coll Coll Architecture
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  • Photos Stephen Goodenough

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Project Description

This project is large home situated on a ridge in the Port Hills with 360 degree views of Christchurch, Canterbury Plains, the sea and the hills to the south. The design needed to incorporate an outdoor area with a fire that would be sheltered from the wind. The project was commissioned by a young family who wanted a custom home that would suit their needs as the family grows. The clients also wanted a house that had good street presence due to the three street elevations, as well as an impressive entry foyer. The house is centred around a large two story entry and stairwell with an adjacent two story formal dining room. Overlooking the dining room is the office with magnificent views down the nearby valley and to the hills on the skyline. The dining room and entry are separated by a two story glass wall. From the front door you can look through the entry, passed the kitchen to the view to the sea beyond. Timber stair treads cantilevered out of the wall float in this space, with the lack of structure allowing them to remain unobtrusive. The first floor consists only of the master suite and office so the parents have their own private space that takes full advantage of the views. Design features and Creative Solutions Due to the large amount of glazing to take in the views, large soffits and sliding louvers were opted for to combat the large amount of thermal gain. To ensure good thermal performance, the highest grade glazing was used, as well as the building being detailed to ensure the highest thermal efficiencies where possible. The negative effects of thermal bridging were reduced by using high rated insulation in walls with no dwangs and frame savers. An insulated high thermal mass slab was used to act as a heat sink. The sliding louvers were also designed to be moveable to create shelter from the trade easterly winds in the covered outdoor area with fireplace. The covered area roof was cantilevered off the fire place chimney to provide the feeling it is floating above the occupants and to accentuate the impression that it is extending out towards the street. Walls remain white to give the extra feeling of space and to ensure the client’s art and furniture remain features. Textured white tiles in the bathroom are in keeping with this theme, yet add interest to the smaller spaces. Due to the large open plan spaces, different ceiling heights were used to give all areas their own identity. These differing ceiling heights were created in a number of ways including sunken floors, bulk heads, changing stud heights and the two story atrium.