A true calling sometimes comes later in life; case in point is Barry Connor of Barry Connor Design. It’s just as well he settled on architecture after a hugely successful career in catering in the United Kingdom, because Christchurch’s residential landscape is the deserving beneficiary of his innovation. The outcome? Luxurious living in urban settings.
Barry’s ability to bring function and style together in harmony is captured in his recent Gracefield Avenue, CBD located, townhouse development clad in striking cedar. Eager to rethink the archetypal aesthetic native to the inner city - the classic white boxes - Barry abandoned the status quo with the ambition of creating something truly distinct.
“It was a tricky site - long and narrow. Sunlight was a key factor with it facing north and we used sunlight analysis to ensure we could get sunlight into both parts of the building which is luxurious with double height, open spaces. The interiors are monochrome to achieve a nice clean, city-pad feel. A real wow factor of the place is its staircase which is designed to not have the standard hallway cupboard underneath, but host a desk.”
An advocate for smaller, smarter living, Barry is a willing convert to this way of thinking and loves the opportunity to take the challenges and turn them into opportunities. “Small places tend to be a bit more fruitful with fixtures and fittings. I always design for what the client actually needs and whatever size that ends up being is what it is. I really get the small stuff, it’s intriguing to me, and I like the challenge of making rooms offer more than one function. For example, if you can have a room do three things rather than just act as a dining room, then your result is smarter.
“People are starting to come round to this way of thinking. If we are adding ‘guest rooms’ that simply sit there for 360 or more days of the year, then clients are sometimes missing the opportunity for nicer furnishings that they can enjoy every day. Our lives and homes today are more about entertaining rather than our homes being about destination catch ups.”
With entertainment the goal, a bespoke black and white kitchen set amongst an open-plan living and dining area on the ground floor makes socialising a joy. An impeccable standard of craftsmanship exists here and throughout the development.
For more information on Barry Connor design visit http://www.barryconnordesign.co.nz