Beautifully crafted earthquake rebuild wins national award


A challenging Christchurch earthquake rebuild resulted in a national category win for Matthew Stevenson of Form Builders Ltd at the Registered Master Builders 2016 House of the Year.

His Christchurch build was awarded the Nulook New Home $650,000 – $1 million national category award at the competition.

Mr Stevenson says winning the award was very unexpected, and a great moment to recognise all the hard work involved in the project.

“I was completely stunned. It was only our second time entering a house in the competition and our first time making it to the national competition so we were absolutely elated,” he says. 

Mr Stevenson says the traditional style of the home and level of craftmanship involved in the details made it stand out. However, he explains that this also created the biggest challenge of the build.

“The house was owned by eminent Christchurch architect Maurice Mahoney, who designed it in the 1960s. It was damaged beyond repair in the Christchurch earthquake, so we deconstructed the materials and fittings he wanted to save from the original house and recycled them in the new build,” he says.

“This meant there was zero tolerance with the architectural features Maurice had originally designed. There was absolutely no room for error with the lines and details.”

Judges were impressed with the meticulous detail of the construction and praised the builder’s craftmanship.

“This is a residence of charm, warmth and subtlety. It takes note of the human scale and provides an interior journey through spaces of varying heights, textures, light and shade. The exterior is also to the human scale, with a control and quality in the details and construction,” they said.

“A superb modern residence designed by an elder statesman of Christchurch architecture and beautifully crafted by the master builder.”

Mr Stevenson says winning the award was a proud moment for his company, and a reflection of all the hard work they had invested.

“It gives great exposure for the company, showing that we hold great pride in what we do and are capable of achieving very high results,” he says. 

Form Builders has not entered a home in the Registered Master Builders 2017 House of the Year awards, but looks forward to entering future competitions when “something really special comes along”.

Mr Stevenson praises the Registered Master Builders Association for the support they offer to members and the ability to connect with like-minded people in the industry.

The Awards are made possible through the support of PlaceMakers, Master Build Services, GIB, Nulook, CARTERS, Plumbing World, Resene and Bunnings Trade.

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