Desmond Street

Completed in 2003, the original house also designed by Matz Architects was heavily damaged within the northern end during the Christchurch earthquakes. Approached by the new owners, Matz Architects were engaged to rework the architecture to better suit their family lifestyle, with a focus on connecting the kitchen, dining & living spaces with the northern courtyard. To signal a new beginning, Matz Architects proposed a new gabled pavilion, clad in black stained cedar to contrast with the existing in form and materiality, but tie in through scale. An open glazed entry space slices between the two forms, connecting both wings visually and programmatically. The interior of the pavilion, although small in plan allows a much greater sense of volumn via the racked ceilings and glazing to the north façade, allowing the courtyard to extend into the house. A louvered structure extends into the courtyard providing a reduction in solar gain when required, and a physical connection between the exterior and the built form. Elements of the existing demolished structure have been reused to provide a connection to the history of the house and those that have lived there before. The existing pivot door has been refurbished and reused at the entry, and the existing stainless steel benchtops have been re-polished and cut to suit the new kitchen that stands proudly at the eastern end of the pavilion. The exterior of the site was redesigned to provide a formalised journey from street to entry, and to connect the building to landscape via hard and soft landscape elements. This Merivale house has been given a new beginning through the addition of the new pavilion that pokes its form out form behind the original, to provide a family with a home they will enjoy for years to come.