+ About Christchurch Modern
We're not architects, we're not historians and we don't know much about anything. However we do like modern houses and Christchurch is a great place for them.
If you know of a house that deserves a mention please let us know. If we've made a mistake, do the same. If you like the site, tell your friends. If you hate the site, tell your friends you like it anyway. It's a minor white lie that anyone would forgive.

20 Connolly St Geraldine. Stafford House. Beaven & Heaney.

Feb 10, 2013

After returning from Japan, and prior to moving back to Christchurch in 1956, Peter was in partnership with Robert A. Heaney in Timaru. This is the first house we’ve seen of the partnership – they were recent graduates and mostly designed woolstores – and places it as early-to-mid 1950s.

…continue reading 20 Connolly St Geraldine. Stafford House. Beaven & Heaney.

24 Macmillan Ave. Griffiths, Moffat & Partners.

Feb 02, 2013

A good house, essentially untouched since the 1950s, is hard to find. And this simple, low-pitched number is an understated treasure with a great view. Air the place out, sell the chandeliers, reinstate the fireplace, and move right in.

…continue reading 24 Macmillan Ave. Griffiths, Moffat & Partners.

5 Westenra Tce. Architect Unknown.

Feb 02, 2013

Straight from the 70s Warren & Mahoney style book – white concrete block, recessed square windows and deep concrete beams. Is it the real deal? Perhaps a junior W&M designer taking a job on the side? Or a colleague’s flattering tribute to the Cambridge Tce studio?

…continue reading 5 Westenra Tce. Architect Unknown.

9 Fitz Place. Bayliss House. Allan Mitchener.

Jan 27, 2013

Jackpot. Hiding in the bushes, just down the road from Lincoln University’s wonderful Corbusian Hilgendorf Building, is this certified peach. Everything we see by Allan Mitchener is good, the problem is we don’t see enough. We know he worked in Christchurch, designed the wonderful Le Bons Bay church moved north, taught at Auckland University, but that’s it. Who knows more? Commenting is free this month.

…continue reading 9 Fitz Place. Bayliss House. Allan Mitchener.

34b Creyke Rd. Don Donnithorne.

Oct 24, 2012

The remarkable thing about this home is not so much the design (which is good), but the condition. Since 1953, it’s had nothing but a light feather dusting. The original owners are moving on, so if you fancy a slice of post-war optimism and one of Don D’s very first designs, shake a leg.

…continue reading 34b Creyke Rd. Don Donnithorne.

33 Newbridge Pl. Pearson Flats. Warren & Mahoney.

Oct 20, 2012

In 1965 there was good money to be made from townhouse developments. So much so, that developers employed architects and spent money on design detail. W&M did a lot of this kind of work and this is one of their best. Four townhouses, cleverly staggered to give each a fireplace and privacy, beautifully detailed inside and out.

…continue reading 33 Newbridge Pl. Pearson Flats. Warren & Mahoney.

Warren & Mahoney by Duncan Winder.

Sep 15, 2012

One day in 1964 a man called Duncan Winder from Wellington visited Christchurch and took some pictures of Warren & Mahoney residences. That’s pretty much the extent of the story, unless people know more?

…continue reading Warren & Mahoney by Duncan Winder.

For Sale. Park Lane. Humphrey Hall.

Aug 22, 2012

Park Lane is up for sale. Who cares? You do. It’s arguably New Zealand’s first modernist house, designed in 1938 by Humphrey after returning from London. He was clearly impressed with Corbusier and designed this villa in the streamlined International Style complete with nautical details and an open sun-deck. Back when UV exposure, like smoking, was good for your health.

…continue reading For Sale. Park Lane. Humphrey Hall.

216 Centaurus Rd. Tony Athfield House. Ian Athfield.

Jul 01, 2012

Now heavily disguised as a shitty, faux-Med house and hiding right under our noses is this very early Athfield design, sketched for his brother in 1963 whilst Ath was studying in Auckland. To see it today, painted yellow with a second storey and portico, causes acute intestinal gas.

…continue reading 216 Centaurus Rd. Tony Athfield House. Ian Athfield.

Bye Peter Beaven.

Jun 06, 2012

Peter died yesterday and we’re sad. He was a hero to us. He road his bicycle to work every day, answered the office phone himself and designed with extraordinary skill, imagination and purpose. At the age of 86 he was busy: working and telling everybody what he thought, wearing his uniform of white chinos and navy fisherman’s  jumper. “There’s no time to decide what to wear every day”. Until yesterday, Peter was still Christchurch’s best young architect.

…continue reading Bye Peter Beaven.

City’s Edge. University of Canterbury 1960 – 1975.

Mar 04, 2012

Yeah, normally we do houses, but it’s a slow month and the University has put up some historical images of their world-class brutalist campus. The designs are mostly by the government Ministry of Works architects, but there’s also some sweeties from Warren & Mahoney, Charles Thomas, and the pick of the bunch, from Hall & Mackenzie. Check it.

…continue reading City’s Edge. University of Canterbury 1960 – 1975.

The Elegant Shed. Behind the Garden.

Feb 20, 2012

There aren’t too many TV shows about architecture (it’s boring) and even less about Christchurch (again, nodding off), but in 1984 David Mitchell made a show about both. And it’s excellent. Watch it online at NZ Onscreen, it’s a winner.