Richmond Hills - the Perfect Inspiration

Solar-Rib® the timeless roofing solution for residential projects

An elevated Richmond Hill site with sweeping sea views, framed by browned 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 client's 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.