A new attraction on Christchurch’s Canon Ridge looks like a box gift-wrapped in black and tied with a bright orange ribbon.

In fact it’s a family home, designed by Christchurch architect John Chaplin of Chaplin Crooks Architects to maximise both the best views and the shelter and sun for the two outdoor living areas, strategically placed at each end of the house. It draws on John’s experience over the past 35 years of designing on the Christchurch Port Hills.

Though challenging, their east-west orientated section was a rewarding find for owners Amy and Lance Vincent who didn’t want a big house – just a functional family home, with flair.

Their compact 250m2, 2-level house shouts ‘street appeal’ with its palisade of eye-catching orange weathering steel panels fringing the road-facing garage. This startlingly sunny orange is set against the almost-black façade of the house itself.

The exterior cladding is a blend of vertical COLORSTEEL® in FlaxPod®, one of New Zealand Steel’s seven ArchitecturalSeries contemporary colours, and Shadowclad plywood panels in the deeply black Nero of Resene. The COLORSTEEL® Endura® roof and all flashings, spouting and downpipes are also in FlaxPod®. The relatively flat mono-pitched roof line blends with the Canon Hill terrain and surrounding trees.

On the house’s eastern face Nero is replaced with Resene Starstruck-painted ShadowClad, a bold gold designed perhaps to harmonise with the resident kowhai tree, perhaps to echo the colourful weathering steel, and certainly to welcome the morning sun. Texture, colour, convenience and sunshine blend here on Canon Ridge.