Superhome of the Year Awards 2024 | Longhurst Tce, Cashmere

Longhurst Tce, Cashmere

Rob d’Auvergne | FOLEY GROUP

The Judges Comments:

“Simple, Smart, Super. This hill-site home effortlessly combines practicality with style, responsible yet interesting with beautifully lit and well proportioned spaces. This Superhome is a clear demonstration of holistic design, high performance architecture, capitalising on the site’s stunning views. Rarely are such elegant, well-balanced, high performing, practical designs seen.”

The d’Auvergne family were enjoying life in North Canterbury, but the regular travel in & out of Christchurch for work, school and kids’ sports was both time-consuming and environmentally irresponsible.

Site selection was based on relative proximity to the CBD, but with good solar orientation, shelter from prevailing winds and getting above Christchurch’s inversion layer, all on a restrictive budget. The property ticked the final box by being very steep, overgrown and criss-crossed with stormwater easements.

This required a nuanced design approach. Excavation and retaining absorbed a large proportion of the build budget, so the remainder had to be carefully split between high-performing construction, practical considerations of family life and touches of delight. Computer modelling facilitated cost vs. benefit analysis and the optimisation of glazing to inform design decisions. Some features were considered fundamental and were included despite the budget implications. Others were able to be prepared for adding in future.

The aftermath of the Covid epidemic heavily impacted the build, driving up costs and introducing significant delays (which in turn added costs as scaffolding, insurance and rents were extended). However, with some financial gymnastics and an understanding builder, the project was able to be completed. The result shows it is not necessary to compromise on performance to create beautiful bespoke architecture on a budget.


Architect/Owner: Rob D’auvergne, Foley Group Architecture Ltd.
Builder: Richard Fantham, Radius Building
Structural engineer: Andrew McFadzean, Powell Fenwick Consultants
Mechanical subcontractors: Marcus South, Moisture Master
Claddings: Colorsteel Hiland Tray
Abodo (Vulcan thermally-modified timber cladding)
ITI Timspec (Weathertex reconstituted timber panel cladding)
Stratco (longrun roof & wall cladding)
Building Consultant: Michael Sauter, Circular Project Ltd.

Site area: 2443m²
Floor area: 280m²
Two storey, 4 bedrooms + study


• 90mm timber framed walls with dwangs omitted and 45mm battens + insulation over studs
• Thermal bridging also designed out of the highly insulated floor and roof
• Recessed, thermally broken aluminium joinery with low-e + argon double glazing
• Thermal mass wall to capture afternoon solar gain
• Mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery (MVHR)
• Ultra-low emission burner (ULEB) fuelled by existing on-site woodlot non-native trees, being replenished with location-appropriate natives to offset carbon emissions
• Sustainably produced, low-maintenance and low-VOC materials preferred
• 10,000L rainwater storage
• Pre-piped for heat-pump hot water

The home was part of the 2023 SUPERHOME TOURS