Richmond Hills - the Perfect Inspiration for Solar-Rib®

A Timeless, Modern Look 

solar rib slate

Project Detail

An elevated Richmond Hill site with sweeping sea views, framed by browned-off grass and jagged rocky outcrops provided the perfect inspiration for Michael John of AO Architecture.

Michael’s clients were soon approaching retirement and wanted a home that deeply reflected their personal style and accommodated the needs of their new chapter.

Having lived near the Heathcote River, the owners were tired of their home flooding post-earthquakes. A special, elevated Richmond Hill site with sea views gave Michael the opportunity to create a place for them to retire to that was as far from rivers as possible.

Michael’s clients site in Port Hills, Christchurch, was to take a pitched form with the master bedroom and living areas all on one level.

“This was no mean feat on a hilly site and difficult to create with height-to-boundary restrictions. Even though it was gentler than some of the neighbouring sites, it was a large consideration that dictated the overall form of the home,” says Michael.

A gable structure was used to create the commanding high vaulted interior spaces found in the living areas and study. The pitched Dimond® roofline complements the rocky hills surrounding the site, allowing the cosy lounge area to take on a unique shape. This roof, enveloped in Solar-Rib®, was expertly installed by Mike Ansett and his team from RoofingSmiths Christchurch. The linear, minimalistic profile design of Solar-Rib®, adds a timeless, modern touch to the house. And inside it creates a sense of space and airiness, with skylights in the central area also working to keep the home light and bright.

The house’s U-shape results in two wings that offer protection from the prevailing wind and exposed nature of the site. Such a shape also allows for a seamless, sheltered outdoor space complete with a fireplace. This means the breathtaking views can be enjoyed in comfort, protected from Christchurch’s elements.

An important part of the brief was to encapsulate the views surrounding the site. Corten steel-framed windows frame the ocean and private reserve throughout the house, and against an ebony cedar exterior and Dimond® Solar-Rib® roof, this rusting steel perfectly marries with the dry grass in this rural environment. As they embark on this new chapter, the owners couldn’t be happier with their new Dimond home.