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The Cantabrian Takes Off

The Cantabrian Takes Off

Launched two weeks ago as an innovative rebuild solution for TC3 landowners, The Cantabrian Concept Home at 81 Cranford Street, St Albans has seen more than 1,500 Cantabrians cross its threshold. And already some of the country’s largest residential building companies are looking to launch their own ‘inspired by’ version of The Cantabrian.

A modern take on the quintessential New Zealand bungalow, The Cantabrian concept home is the inspiration of Southern Response and Nelson-based architect Richard Sellars and is the result of a design competition run by Southern Response in association with the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 2013.

Earlier this week Jennian Homes Canterbury released its version of The Cantabrian in association with Christchurch architect Simon Blencowe, second place getter of The Cantabrian design competition.

Jennian Homes Canterbury General Manager, Rob Sloan, says that Jennian was keen to embrace the concept of the competition.

“We thought The Cantabrian competition was a brilliant idea for Christchurch, so much so, we did what we could to ensure that another of the outstanding designs became a viable option for the public.”

“Being involved in The Cantabrian design competition was a truly fantastic experience and to now think that after all this time, and after all that people have been through, some people will walk into a brand new home based on my concept is quite something,” says Blencowe.

Hours later the first build contract for the Jennian Cantabrian was signed with Christchurch family Paul and Alison Robertson of South New Brighton. The Robertson’s house was deemed uneconomic to repair following the 2011 earthquakes and the family plan to rebuild their home on the existing property.

“It is an absolutely wonderful feeling to be at this point. We followed The Cantabrian design competition with a great deal of interest and we always said to each other that we’d just love to have a Simon Blencowe design. And now we will. Our future is safe and so very very exciting,” said Mrs Robertson.

The Cantabrian was driven by Southern Responses’ determination to provide people with a solution for TC3 rebuilds that is not only structurally robust, but also appealing and attainable for the average person. CEO, Peter Rose, says that they are expecting other building companies to develop additional versions of The Cantabrian as part of their portfolio of home options.

“What began as a technical response to building on vulnerable land has developed into very real solution for safer, smarter and more secure houses for Cantabrians. To see a building company so enthused by the concept to commercialise it, is just fantastic,” says Rose.

All residential housing options carrying The Cantabrian brand must be endorsed by Southern Response to ensure that the design is suitable for TC3 land. Specific requirements include, adherence to MBIE guidelines relating to regular shape, structural integrity that delivers the latest engineering developments and design principles through the use of lighter construction materials to offer greater earthquake resistance. In addition to this, all versions of The Cantabrian must encapsulate lifestyle, affordability and comfort, while being environmentally efficient and sustainable.

Nigel Smith, Director of Jennian Homes Canterbury, is excited to see the first Jennian Cantabrian underway. Jennian has worked closely with Simon to ensure the integrity of his vision is retained.

“It’s a great concept for building in Christchurch and we are glad to be a part of creating a building legacy for our region and the environment we live in,” he said.


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