Funky townhouse a real standout
Graham Stevenson Building has produced another stellar result in an Arthur St project for a Dunedin developer who has a mission of urban renewal.
Late last year the company completed the construction of a 245 square metre townhouse on a corner site less than half this area, a project Graham Stevenson describes as both challenging and rewarding.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse, designed by Cameron Grindlay of Dwelling Architectural Design and completed late 2018, comprises three stories of 70sqm to 89sqm.
The exterior is a contemporary design; the extensive glazing on the second and third ﬂoor mirrors the sky while inside is equally chic, but welcoming and homely with excellent views.
The lounge, dining and kitchen areas are on the top ﬂoor. “It’s a brilliant view down over the city and it looks straight down the harbour, ” Graham says.
Because of the large areas of glazing, supplied by Vistalite, the windows and doors are thermally broken aluminium with low-emission mirrored double glazing; another feature is that despite its small site, a great sense of space is created from inside.
A “big feature” is its steel staircase, fabricated by Abbot Steel, Dunedin, with high panels above the steps and a Tasmanian Oak handrail.
Structurally a consideration was incorporating a grey roof rather than a darker colour to reduce thermal stress in the building from expansion and contraction.
Its east side is clad with the same material for low maintenance, while the inclusion of cedar weatherboards create texture, warmth and reference to neighbouring buildings.
A challenging aspect of construction was there was nowhere to store materials on-site and trafﬁ c management was required every time a truck delivered concrete or construction materials. “It wasn’t and easy job to work on,” Graham says.
Externally some horizontal steel beams remain exposed; these have been painted red to create a visual design element, as has honed and sealed dark concrete block inside, adding to the town house’s uniqueness as a residential project.
Graham says his client, Dunedin businessman and property developer Roger Fewtrell along with Cameron Grindlay did well in achieving their vision for the site, formerly occupied by a dilapidated building that was an eyesore.
“A project like this only comes around once in a blue moon. I was really looking forward to working on it.”
While it was a taxing project at times, the close collaboration with Roger Grindlay and Martin Taylor of Upright Consulting Structural Engineers and Designers made all the difference. “Without them the job probably wouldn’t have gone as smoothly.”
Graham Stevenson Building has built several houses for Roger Fewtrell, who has a long-standing relationship with the Stevenson family. Graham’s four son’s work in the business.
Graham has a keen eye for suggesting alternatives in a design that may create unnecessary costs or that does not ﬁt with his budget, Roger says.
“He’s been building a very long time and he’s very sensible about how to build things.” Roger and his wife Derryn enjoy the process of buying low value sections with “old dumps” of houses on them which are beyond renting, and transforming the site with a new house.
The Arthur Street project is another good result, he says. “It’s an iconic house really, with lovely views to the harbour. It feels really nice inside. It’s quite funky.”
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