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This Christchurch townhouse is an example of density done well

Article by Home Magazine

A developer does his bit to densify Christchurch’s inner-east suburbs

Outdoor living

The living area and bedrooms open onto the yard, making the exterior feel like an integral part of the home


This Christchurch townhouse is an example of density done well

When Jeremy Williams asked his friend, Christchurch architectural designer Tobin Smith, to design him a bachelor pad, they knew it had to be small: the site was just 10 metres wide and 46 metres long, and Smith laughed at Williams’ desire to build two townhouses there.

Black beauty home

The home’s living area not only opens onto the slim yard, but to a north-facing courtyard as well.

 
Williams took the smallest of the townhouses, an 82-square-metre (the floor area includes a single garage), two-bedroom “black box” in stained cedar with a gently pitched roof. “It’s a tiny haven,” Williams says. “I live minimally and the storage and layout have been resolved so well, I never feel short of space. It delivers everything I need.”

Kitchen living area

A key to making a small home feel spacious is good storage. Smith designed the kitchen so it didn’t encroach on the living or circulation space

 

Smith focused on creating fluid, flexible spaces. Williams likes to entertain, so Smith designed the second bedroom with full-height, moveable walls that slide back to work as an extension of the living area. And the six-metre-long garage is adjacent to the living space and can serve as an overflow area when parties get underway.

Spare bedroom

The spare bedroom opening to form part of the living area, the home’s single garage is adjacent to the living area and opens onto the courtyard

 
The home’s northwest frontage opens to a slim, sunny yard shaded by trees on neighbouring properties. Inside, the light American oak floors and white walls suit Williams’ collection of vintage furniture perfectly. Now the property is finished, Smith is justifiably proud.

“We often get gawdy in the scale of our houses, yet most of us don’t need a lot of space to live in,” he says. “If you analyse every square millimetre available, you realise you can live quite successfully in significantly smaller spaces.”

Living minimally doesn’t mean you can never collect anything, built-in shelving holds Williams’ books and vintage objects.

Living minimally doesn’t mean you can never collect anything, built-in shelving holds Williams’ books and vintage objects.

 

Small home: Armagh Street House, Christchurch
Designer: Tobin Smith, CoLab
Floor area: 82m2 (including garage)
Number of Occupants: One
Photography: Guy Frederick

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