Garden House
Floor area:
Garden House is a story of scope creep. Initially, the clients engaged JCA for a significant alteration/addition to their garden-ringed house in Ōtautahi, Christchurch. However, early inquiries found that the structure offered neither the quality nor opportunity their young whānau demanded, so a fresh brief was drafted, calling for a modest, four-bedroom, two-bathroom home that championed an easy connection to the outdoors.

The design follows the logic of the old home, with two gabled forms sitting more or less within the original footprint. The longer pavilion houses the sleeping quarters, snug, and garage, while the other accommodates the public areas — the kitchen, living, and dining. Dog-toothed brick articulates a purposeful break between the forms and extensive glazing opens view lines in and through the house, framing key moments, like the mature pear tree in the backyard. Although built to a strict budget, Garden House is careful to incorporate window seats, hidden gardens and various 'in-between’ areas that deliver the space and separation the family will need as the children grow.
Photography by Sam Hartnett

"This project exudes immaculate simplicity, with every component meticulously considered and refined, despite the tight budget. The building form has been carefully integrated around the existing garden, resulting in well-proportioned outdoor spaces of purpose and individual character." — NZIA Jury Citation