We’re only five years old and already we’re procreating! That’s our way of saying that in May this year, we completed our first multi-unit development – and reached another milestone. Sussex Mews is a townhouse-style complex in inner-city Nelson and we’re happy to report that our post-and-beam structural system and our modernist ideas translated wonderfully into the six homes that make up the project.
The ‘mews’ concept (with houses grouped companionably together around a narrow central corridor) appealed to the client – a developer who wanted to offer high-quality, modernist living rather than a traditional weatherboard look or a low-rise apartment.
The palette of plywood cladding, stainless-steel cross-bracing and some precast concrete panels to comply with inter-unit fire rating criteria, makes a strong design statement in the neighbourhood and gobi-block walls on the perimeters of the site have some transparency which allows connection with the street.
The three- and four-bedroomed homes, some single level and some double-storey, each has a private garden and mini internal courtyards to bring light into the living. The master plan of this compact site cleverly sets up an intricate balance between sociability and privacy. The orientation of each home captures sun but not neighbourly conversation. The homes were snapped up within months: a mix of old-world thinking with new world design – an English mews with a Kiwi twist sitting pretty at the top of the South Island.