Historic Chch firm continues to innovate

Historic Chch firm continues to innovate
The redevelopment of Christchurch’s St George’s hospital has been a key project for Trengrove architects .

Well-known Christchurch firm Trengrove Architects was established nearly 100 years ago, but that doesn’t mean the company is resting on its laurels.
They believe a commitment to innovation and change will see the company thrive for another century – and create a new generation of iconic Christchurch buildings in the process.
Trengrove Architects has a diverse portfolio that includes both high-end residential homes and numerous commercial projects within the healthcare and education sectors.
In particular, Christchurch residents will be familiar with its work for St George’s hospital, Forte Health, and Pacific Radiology.
This evolving body of new work, and the company’s longstanding contribution to the built history of the Canterbury region, has resulted in a strong public profile in the garden city.
“Christchurch has deep roots for a comparatively young city,” says Ian Cattoen-Gilbert, who is a recently appointed director at the firm, alongside Daryl Partridge and David McKay.
Trengrove has a strong reputation within that built history, so you’ll see homes advertised at resale as Trengrove homes.”
However, Ian believes it’s equally important to look ahead, and that in many ways, the firm’s reputation is created afresh with each new project.
“We’re building on strong foundations, but we’re equally interested in how the practice evolves, now and in the future.”
One current project Ian is passionate about is a comparatively modest family home in rural Cheviot.

Historic Chch firm continues to innovate
This three-bedroom family home under construction in rural Cheviot will showcase what can be achieved for homeowners on a moderate budget.

Though the three-bedroom house is contained in scale, Ian believes that thoughtful detailing and an intuitive use of forms and materials will create a house that is more than the sum of its parts.
He’s confident this house will showcase the results that can be achieved for homeowners with a more contained budget.
“People looking to build in the $600-700,000 range often chose to buy from a building company, because those houses are a known quantity, whereas the parameters of working with an architect are less clear to many people.”
He emphasises how important it is for architects to work collaboratively with clients to demystify the design process, and build trust, and believes this collaborative approach should extend to everyone involved in a build.
Ian speaks very highly of the work of contractor Mike Thomas, of Greenroom Carpentry, who has gone the extra mile throughout the build to achieve quality results.
The Cheviot home will feature what Ian describes as “simple, honest” materials, such as exposed concrete, cedar cladding and plywood ceilings and joinery.
He sees the use of these modest, high-quality materials – all of which reference the forms, colours and textures of the surrounding landscape – as part of a developing New Zealand aesthetic that reflects our strong connection to the land.
He believes the simple, unfussy materials chosen for the home will combine to create some-thing just as effective as more expensive options.
“This is an architectural home, but without the marble and bling and the million-plus price tag.”
“It will be an exciting example of the quality and innovation we can offer.”
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