Architecture and Design Obsession
As we venture Inside an art-filled home grounded in ideals of permanence and resilience, it is evident that Zed House signifies the prospect of rebuilding through an examination of the past and planning ahead for the future. The expansive, single-storey, red-brick home references the original residence that was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and is injected with art, nostalgia and childhood memories.
Originally owned by the client’s parents, there was not much remaining of the original architecture, except for the gardens, which have been tendered to and reintegrated into the landscape. As such, the client wanted a family home that would retain as much of the original house as possible, such as arched windows.
Zed House receives its name from a distinct floor plan, which snakes around the site and forms the letter ‘Z’. Although the house is single storey, it boasts generous spaces, as seen in the house tour. Inside the art-filled home, one will find a deeply considered floor plan where a low-entrance front door contrasts with the vaulted ceiling within, which is close to four metres high, creating a sense of compression and release.
A juxtaposition between the casual arrangement of the kitchen, family and living rooms with the more formal dining and living area at the edge of the northern wing offers a dynamic balance inside an art-filled home. The sunken family room is relaxed and comfortable, whilst the other living area is more sophisticated, with green accents that echo the greenery of the natural surrounds. A gallery-like hallway with concrete walls houses the bedrooms and other smaller rooms.
Zed House’s materiality is grounded in numerous solid materials, such as concrete, brick and glass, so it was important for the interior design to bring a softness to the art-filled home as a counterpoint. “It is the sort of house that will continue to evolve and just get better. Interiors are still developing; we are adding pieces to the interiors and things are getting tweaked and moved about as the owners live there,” says Kristina Pickford of Kristina Pickford Design.
With embedded traces of the original dwelling, the modern house brings its storied past into a more contemporary context. Rebuilding on a site where the previous house had fallen over, RTA Studio creates a timeless and enduring residence that is resilient to natural hazards.
00:00 – Introduction to the Art-Filled Home
00:48 – Designing A Legacy Project
01:37 – The Z-Shaped Layout of the Home
02:03 – A Nostalgic and Personal Brief
02:40 – A Walkthrough of the Home
04:38 – Building for Changes in Climate
04:57 – The Material Palette
05:32 – Incorporating Aspects from the Previous Homestead
06:12 – An Enduring Family Home
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Photography by Sam Hartnett.
Architecture by RTA Studio.
Interior Design by RTA Studio and Kristina Pickford Design.
Build by John Creighton Builders.
Styling by Kristina Pickford Design.
Landscape by Robert Watson Landscape Architects.
Electrical, Mechanical and Hydraulic Engineering by 22 Degrees.
Structural Engineering by HFC Group.
Geotechnical Engineering by LandTech Consulting.
Filmed and Edited by Aidan Rogers.
Production by The Local Project.
Location: Fendalton, New Zealand
The Local Project acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua and Treaty of Waitangi partners in Aotearoa New Zealand. We recognise the importance of Indigenous peoples in the identity of our respective countries and continuing connections to Country and community. We pay our respect to Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to all Indigenous peoples of these lands.
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