Fendalton’s ranch

Fendalton’s ranch add

The opportunity to rebuild on an established section among protected trees and expansive gardens has sparked a passion for mid-century atomic ranch design, for both designer and client.

ADNZ Professional Member, Sean McCurrie of SDMC Architecture Ltd never set out to design a residence which appears more like a well-maintained original than a new construction.

'We weren't set on mid-century modern from the start… it was a real evolution', Sean explains.

'We had a large site with established trees and we were keen to make the most of the northern outlook which meant we were working with a long form at the back of the site.

'The client looked at a variety of styles before settling on 1950s mid-century modern atomic ranch and we realised that particular style was going to work really well.'

'Ranch' is a domestic architectural style originating in the US and noted for its long, close to the ground profile and wide open layout. American post-war mid-century homes with modern interiors are described as 'atomic ranch'. There is even a magazine, aptly named 'Atomic Ranch' dedicated to the latest design and decorating trends in keeping with the popular style.

Sean says inspiration for the Jacksons Road project in Fendalton, Christchurch was drawn from examples of mid-century modern homes in Christchurch - those 'gems that hadn't been destroyed by the earthquakes', from which design aspects and detailing were borrowed.

'I'm also very taken with that style and feel strongly that the design philosophy suits New Zealand conditions well, with its big eaves and well protected veranda spaces. I like the light of the interior spaces - the natural timbers combined with the very light airy nature of skillion ceilings and inbuilt furniture.'

Integral to the design, was the integration of the home with the surrounding landscape. Sean explains the expansive site and transparent layout of the design has a catch, in that there are no easily concealed utility spaces or tolerance for neglected areas of garden.

'We had to be careful to take a comprehensive landscaping approach which was continuous and followed right through all the building spaces. Particular attention was given to maintaining the privacy of exterior living spaces from the entry approach as this was considered very important.'

Today, Sean is a regular visitor to Jacksons Road and is particularly enamoured with how comfortably the new build rests in its established leafy surroundings.

'It's a design that makes sense, it does what it was designed to do. It sits well in the vast and leafy setting creating an urban oasis for family and friends to enjoy year round.'

Visit http://www.sdmcarchitecture.co.nz/ for more examples of Sean McCurrie’s work.