Merivale II

Architectural Build, O’neil Architechture

Striking, simple, solid.

When you arrive at a home that cannot be seen from the street, there is a moment when the structure is revealed to you, announcing itself. For this Merivale property, that moment is accompanied by a sense of quiet grandeur, as it hints to what remains out of sight. Two large, second-storey gables seem to float, balanced atop a striking white wall as they reach above the driveway. The entranceway, nestled beneath one of the cantilevered crowns, draws your eye, enticing you inside.


“We concentrated on keeping the forms and the detailing simple and well-proportioned,” explains O’Neil Architecture founder and principal Darren O’Neil. “By opting for a ‘less is more’ approach and a very clean colour palate, the result is a home that looks striking and simple but, in fact, hides its complexity, both of layout and build difficulty.”


Sam Fleetwood and the Fleetwood Construction team were not fazed by the challenging design because Sam had been working with Darren and the clients throughout the design process, advising on how best to achieve their vision for the property. “We have admired Darren’s work for many years, says Sam, “so being able to bring to life every detail the clients wanted in their new home was a pleasure.”

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Strength in the details

As you walk through the front door, careful attention to detail is obvious. A custom staircase with oak and glass detailing, fashioned by local craftsmen, beckons you to the upper storey, whilst timber flooring leads your eyes ahead, where a peek of the outdoor pool is your reward. As you begin to move inside, the house welcomes you into its heart, which beats equally for relaxing quietly or entertaining vibrantly.


The bespoke kitchen is open plan with clean lines and an unobtrusive scullery. It is drenched in natural light, as are the dining and living areas. The floor to ceiling glass panels slide effortlessly to connect with the outdoor living area, including the sizeable swimming pool. Electric louvres shelter the outdoor area, offering year-round protection from both sun and rain.


On the days you want to stay inside, the main living area’s gas fire offers heat and ambience. Or snuggle up for a movie in the cosy television/media room. All the interiors are expertly finished and furnished by Lume Design. A downstairs master bedroom suite with ensuite and walk-in robe awaits guests, keeping the three other bedrooms (including a second master suite) upstairs for family members. The lower level is completed by a home office, wine room and internal access to a three-car garage.


“There is a lot of detail in an architectural home like this,” explains
Sam. “Every single step of the construction process has to be precise, otherwise the end result won’t be perfect.”
The garage is an example of that careful attention to detail flowing from design to construction. Instead of using standard Gib sheeting to line the walls of the garage, hard-wearing panels of plywood have been mounted instead. The walls were then sealed and finished with negative-black detailing, producing a visually engaging and practical space.

Taking ownership of the space

When you stand on the lawn beside the pool and gaze at the facade of the property, two more bold second-storey gables make their statement of solidity and style. We aren’t going anywhere, they seem to say.


“It was a real pleasure to watch this home take shape,” Sam adds. “The day when the scaffolding was taken down to reveal the pair of cantilevered gables was when the house really began to take ownership of its surroundings. And then, when the landscaping was completed, it felt like the structure was comfortably settled in for its first one hundred years.”


But the highlight for Sam and the Fleetwood Construction team was on the day the clients moved into their sparkling new home. “They were smiling from ear to ear,” remembers Sam. “That’s how we know we got all the details right.”

Your turn

If you are considering building your own ‘forever home’ in Christchurch, the best way to start is with a free, no-obligation conversation with Sam Fleetwood and the Fleetwood Construction team.


Let our specialists happily take care of all your construction details. 0800 381 381.