Stunning new Christchurch construction on skinny 7.5m wide site impresses judges

Soaring costs and high demand ensure that even small or narrow sections have their place, and the award-winning project featured here is a prime example of how to maximize a “very tight” space.

Designed by ADQ Architecture and built by Blue Summit Construction, the house sits on a site in St Albans, which is only 7.5m wide – and every square inch is maximized.

Michael Ingram of Blue Summit said the project, which just won a Canterbury Master Builders Outdoor Living Excellence Award and Gold Award, was built for Pete and Chris, who wanted something unique – “nothing you wouldn’t see nowhere else”. The couple had a budget of $ 660,000 to $ 750,000.

It's amazing what you can do with a 7.5m wide section.  This new build in St Albans, Christchurch, by Blue Summit Construction, opens up to a magical outdoor living space with pool, sauna and spa.

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It’s amazing what you can do with a 7.5m wide section. This new build in St Albans, Christchurch, by Blue Summit Construction, opens up to a magical outdoor living space with pool, sauna and spa.

“Their site is a narrow block in a cool suburb of downtown Christchurch – and Pete and Chris had big plans,” says Ingram. “Not only did they want to create an architecturally designed house, they also wanted to install a pool, spa and sauna in their 7.5 meter wide site.

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“The idea was to create a partitioned house and property that could also be an Airbnb. “

Ingram says space was a big issue during construction – space for storage, for people working on site, and for the construction schedule. A second challenge was the proximity of neighbors on all sides.

The kitchen and living room open onto the pool landscape.

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The kitchen and living room open onto the pool landscape.

The barbecue is located at the opposite end of the outdoor living space, as well as an annex building which houses the sauna, thermal pool, covered area and pump room.

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The barbecue is located at the opposite end of the outdoor living space, as well as an annex building which houses the sauna, thermal pool, covered area and pump room.

The solution was found in collaboration. “Working on a project like this is when you realize that good construction is more than a qualified building,” says Ingram. “One of our core values ​​is communication and that’s what we’ve relied on to get the job done.

“The success of the project is down to soft skills – good open and consistent communication with Pete and Chris, the architectural designer (Kent Roper from ADQ), our subbies and neighbors. This is how we maintained consistent access to the site, controlled deadlines and moved work forward as planned.

Ingram says the owners are very happy with their three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, which has since been featured in Mindfood magazine. “We completed the job on time and on budget (and with the happy neighbors). Our biggest achievement was the smiles on Pete and Chris’ faces when they received their keys.

An office style kitchen runs along one side of the family home.  The staircase led to a mezzanine bedroom.

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An office style kitchen runs along one side of the family home. The staircase led to a mezzanine bedroom.

Mid-century furniture is comfortable with concrete block walls and plywood ceilings.

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Mid-century furniture is comfortable with concrete block walls and plywood ceilings.

The construction team can now add the victories of the Canterbury master builders to their achievements.

Announcing the awards, the judges said: “This exquisite and compact house occupies a very narrow site but still makes the most of the outdoors. The outdoor area is located between the two wings of the house and provides shelter and the afternoon sun.

“It is also a visual pleasure for the adjacent interior spaces. Exterior doors to the double height living room open across the full width of the courtyard, bringing it inside. It contains a compact swimming pool across the width of the site, adjacent to a low profile annex building that houses a sauna, thermal pool, covered area and pump room. This house is extraordinary for outdoor living.

Photos of Paul Willets and Ravi Mamidi

The master bedroom enjoys a view through the glazed gable.

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The master bedroom enjoys a view through the glazed gable.

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