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personalized baby blankets This tiny Lyttelton newbuild displays an enviable green footprint sofa pillow covers

Views:92 Updated: 2019-09-25

This modest, new-build family home not only perches lightly on the land as it leans out over Lyttelton Harbour, but leaves behind only a small eco footprint

Pippin Wright-Stow (architectural designer and owner of F3 Design), Erica Viedma (yoga teacher), Jordi, 10, Rafi, 7, and Arianapersonalized baby blankets, 3.

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The Wright-Stow-Viedma family’s new-build on the slopes of the port town of Lyttelton, close to Christchurch, hasn’t been plain sailing. From a problematic steep section to Mother Nature running interference with flooding and earthquakes, to the site’s location in a narrow cul de sac which meant that every time a truck visited (which was often) 15 neighbours found their access blocked. Oh, and did we mention that the brave duo at the helm of this build, Pippin and Erica, had a baby during this time, joining their other two littlies? Yep, very brave.


The structural supports at the corners of the house work on the same principle as a tree: the weight from the top bears down into the stem, pushing the footing deep into the ground, while giving the house the appearance of lightly touching the ground and hovering over the hill.


Pippin Wright-Stow, 37 (architectural designer and owner of F3 Design), Erica Viedma, 37 (yoga teacher), Jordi, 10, Rafi, 7, and Ariana, 3.


“We really enjoy designing and building things so every single, spare second was spent on the build. In hindsight, focusing on the build was a way for us to recover from the upset of the earthquakes and recommit ourselves to living in this city,”; says Pippin.


The lockers also do double duty, housing both clothing and food.


The family spent a year living in a flat beside their land, watching the angle of the sun through the seasons and figuring out how to successfully capture the sunlight in their living area. Spaces in this home have a multitude of uses: the dining area is also a home office and entertainment centre and the living room currently doubles as the main bedroom.


“We love having tribes of kids, friends and family over, so we have made our spaces flexible enough to shift around on a daily basis,” Pippin explains.


Pippin designed and built Ariana’s bedroom and Rafi’s loft using galvanised steel pipe and locally sourced, re-purposed macrocarpa.


“He is like a magpie but he only collects items that he knows are durable, beautiful and functional,”; says Erica.


Somehow, though, Pippin has managed to turn all these items into an incredibly beautiful home with a cohesive look.


The mini corrugated iron in the bathroom came from the garage that originally stood on the site, and the bath was a Trade Me score. The floor-to-ceiling window only opens 10cm but lets in lots of light.


The family's new-build sits on the slopes of the port town of Lyttelton, close to Christchurch,

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Words by: Debbie Harrison. Photography by: Juliet Nicholas.

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