For many years, the corner site at Montreal and Gloucester Streets in Christchurch’s inner city remained mostly empty. However, a new chapter is about to unfold as two high-end contemporary villas grace the garden city’s post-quake landscape. Designed in 2016 after a prolonged period of planning, these luxurious homes, located opposite the Christchurch Art Gallery, are almost ready to be unveiled. One of the villas, placed at forty-seven Gloucester Street, has already been finished and is at the market.
Sensitivity and Aesthetics
Tobin Smith, director of Common Architecture, was well aware of the project’s sensitivity due to its prominent location near significant public buildings. The challenge was to design the homes in a way that harmoniously blends with both the public and private surroundings while maintaining the essence of Christchurch’s architectural style. The project took a playful approach by adapting recognizable Victorian and Gothic influences and perching them over a stone base with cantilevered roofs, rather than grounding them conventionally.
An Architectural Marvel
The houses stand on a base of nearby schist stone, and their cantilevered roofs create an phantasm of floating. However, these unique designs are not merely for aesthetics; they also serve a functional purpose. For instance, the louvres that cover the facade facing the art gallery and skylights in the home can be adjust to control sunlight. The dynamic and changing lines of the louvre facade add an artistic touch to the exterior.
No detail was overlook during the design process. The architects collaborated closely with the Christchurch City Council to ensure a seamless integration with the surroundings. Even the positioning of the garages was thoughtfully plan to make them feel like an intrinsic part of the structure rather than mere doors.
Both homes offer a lavish living experience, with the western home being slightly larger than the eastern one. Award-winning interior designer Davinia Sutton curated the interior decor, creating an overall harmonious yin and yang feeling between the two homes.The western domestic boasts a muted, impartial palette, even as the japanese domestic functions a dark, sensitive, and rejuvenating shadeation scheme. The level of craftsmanship is extraordinary, with high-end furnishings and bespoke design elements adding to the grandeur.
A Unique Offering
The unit for sale, well-suited for professionals desiring a home office, comprises three bedrooms and a flexible fourth space with views of the Art Gallery, which could make an ideal home studio. While the build faced challenges and underwent transitions between developers, the current owners saw the value in bringing this project to life, resulting in a magnificent and significant development for Christchurch’s CBD corner.
Prestigious Views and Aspirational Living
The corner eastern villa, now listed and up for auction, offers stunning views of the Art Gallery and Cranmer Square. In contrast, the western villa boasts views of Hagley Park. The exact build cost remains undisclosed, but it’s apparent that the use of high-quality materials contributed to the overall expense. Prospective buyers who appreciate fine architecture and exquisite design elements will find these homes alluring, even though they come with a luxury price tag. The completion of this extraordinary project stands as a testament to the value of dedication and commitment in creating architectural marvels in Christchurch’s city center.