Durability with a touch of divinity.

31 October 2022 / Case Studies

It could be said that there was some divine inspiration at work in the design of this award-winning Christchurch home.

Back when things were still at the ideas stage, the owners came across a photo of Templeton’s Chapel of the Holy Family. The chapel’s sweetly curved roof and use of raw concrete block struck a chord.

The direction was set.

Suitably inspired, architect Craig South set about creating a home than would ultimately end up garnering a slew of awards, including the 2021 TIDA Architect Designed Home Award and the 2021 Global Future Design Award.

Put in very simplistic terms, the house is made up of three strategically placed concrete pavilions tied together by a highly sculptural copper roof.


Take a look at what Craig (and Clive Barrington Construction) has achieved with these two materials and you’ll quickly see that the term doesn’t come close to describing what is on show here.

These two materials were chosen for their durability. After all, the owners wanted a home they could enjoy – not one that required ongoing maintenance.

“The client wanted something that would last forever,” Craig says. “The concrete walls naturally bring longevity. And copper ages well as a natural material – it actually almost looks better as it ages.”

Marrying the two contrasting materials called for some inspired thinking.

The sweeping contours of the copper roofing has been described by Home Magazine as an “experimental flight of fancy, which also helps regulate the compression and expansion of many of the interior spaces.”

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Lithium-based densifiers are used during the grinding and polishing that happens at the time of the floor’s installation. A liquid hardener penetrates deep into the pores of the concrete to enhance the durability of the floor’s surface.

A special microfilm provides the finishing touch, creating a protective coating that is literally melted into the concrete for increased stain resistance.

The end result is a concrete floor that has a superior polish that’s easy to clean.

The concrete, meanwhile, anchors the roof’s sinuous forms.

PeterFell 651 has been used on the concrete walls and floors both indoors and out. “All the concrete you can see is coloured,” says Craig.

The light charcoal tones on the interior concrete walls act as a neutral, tactile backdrop for the owner’s impressive collection of art.

At the same time it enhances the salt and pepper finish of the PeterFell C2 polished concrete floor.

C2 improves on the natural beauty of concrete, while making it more durable, hardwearing and stain resistant (perfect for a family home).

The use of copper and concrete for their durability has also created a sense of timelessness here.

As Craig says: “By going so sculptural, this home can’t be tied to an era or what others are doing. In the future, no one will be able to say when it was designed.”

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