Christchurch 'swamp dwelling' wins architectural design award

A house called a swamp dwelling in Christchurch's Opawa has won an architectural award for its...
A house called a swamp dwelling in Christchurch's Opawa has won an architectural award for its sophisticated and unassuming beauty. Photo: Supplied / Dennis Radermacher
A house called a swamp dwelling in Christchurch's Opawa has won an architectural award for its sophisticated and unassuming beauty.

Designed by Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural, the home was built opposite a river in a flood management area on an unforgiving narrow site with a high ground water level.

It won the supreme award for a new residential home between 150m2 and 300m2 at the NZ Architectural Design Awards.

Built on stilts with raised decking and an open subfloor for drainage, it was built for a retired couple who had moved from a lifestyle block and wanted a house that was easily accessible with good building performance.

The house was built by Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural and is set on a long, narrow site with...
The house was built by Ben Brady of Linetype Architectural and is set on a long, narrow site with a high ground water level. Photo: Supplied / Dennis Radermacher
"What do you do when you are in a flood management area and the minimum floor level is 1.4m off the ground? We think high pile stilts, a good amount of raised decking, an open subfloor for drainage, a ramp to raised parking and reduced steps to the house, drop the cladding skirt and areas of decking around the house so it doesn't overbear.

"Throw in a custom steel screen for privacy on your raised deck and maybe a wharf for a rainy day," Brady said.

The swamp dwelling was built for a retired couple who were relocating from a lifestyle block and...
The swamp dwelling was built for a retired couple who were relocating from a lifestyle block and wanted easy accessibility and good building performance. Photo: Supplied / Dennis Radermacher
The judges said there was nothing exceptional about the site the house was built on, which posed several difficulties but what had been produced was an outstanding design.

"When you peel back the engaging and pleasing skin of this building, underneath you find the solid bones of a set of well-understood, eco-friendly technologies and design solutions. Out of the swamp has risen a sophisticated but unassuming beauty," they said.

 

 

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