A new take on period English-style houses proves popular in Christchurch

His partner’s grandmother’s visit to Highbury, north London, laid the groundwork for Vincent Holloway’s grand design to ensure that Christchurch once again reflects his English origins.

The skilled builder, real estate agent and now real estate developer is at the forefront of a movement to build old-fashioned British-style architecture in well-established places like, fittingly, Coronation St in Spreydon.

Hendon St, Edgeware (Hendon is a municipality in the borough of Barnet in north-west London; Edgware Rd has an underground station) is another suitable address for Holloway and his fellow Brooksfield manager, Oliver Hickman, to build their heritage style homes.

“I prefer this style,” says Holloway inside a barely relocated two-bedroom, two-story show home on a quiet, tree-lined street off Hills Rd.

“We had built standard, modern houses out of black and white plaster that everyone else does.

“For the city as a whole, it doesn’t add much. I just think you can do better when it comes to design.”

So 18 months ago, remembering a jaunt in the English capital, Holloway changed the business model, with input from London architect Ben Pentreath.

“I have been there several times. I saw the style in London and wanted to take it a step further.

“This is a New Zealand (wooden) version of a London townhouse, almost Georgian style terraced accommodation,” Holloway said, as he leaned over to open a sash window. .

Brooksfield started three years ago with a modern outlook and now 80 percent of construction is heritage inspired.

“I figured we could do it for the same price (around $ 600,000 to $ 700,000) that we were doing a black and white plaster box type design,” said Holloway, who moved to Christchurch from Tauranga via a building apprenticeship in Wanaka.

“We are really trying to push our heritage style towards rows of terraced houses with a street frontage for everyone. Where we can, we are doing it now.”

There are even aesthetic fake chimneys on the roofs of 10 Victorian-style townhouses on Hastings St West in Sydenham.

Wood is the favored exterior, but English-style masonry is also taking shape on Coronation St in Waltham Park.

Brooksfield has completed approximately 50 heritage homes in the city, while several three and four bedroom projects are in various stages of completion.

“We did a few developments, they were popular and there was a waiting list so we did more and more,” Holloway said.

Location is key, with the Christchurch equivalent of Mayfair and Park Lane style addresses off the table, as the likes of Old Kent Rd and Whitechapel Rd are preferred.

“There is a big market for people who want a townhouse but they can’t afford $ 2 million for a super nice one but they would buy a townhouse for $ 5-700,000,” Holloway said.

“We like the areas that you would probably call five to seven out of 10. We’ve done quite a bit on Hills Rd, but we prefer those quiet areas.

“We have about 80 of them around Waltham Park in seven or eight different developments, we have lots of them around Selwyn St, Bletsoe Ave, Coronation St, Strickland St.”

Holloway said the homes are very attractive and the mature generation clearly appreciates the historical aspect.

“I think a lot of people in Christchurch miss the old houses, we’ve lost so many of them, all of those memories are gone,” Holloway said.

“The Cantabrians also include heritage buildings. I come from Tauranga, we have a heritage building.

“On average, the elderly turn to heritage, the youngest are half and half (heritage versus modern).”

Meanwhile, London isn’t the only city on the map at Brooksfield headquarters.

Anyone who has wandered the streets of Surry Hills will recognize the design of eight two-bedroom terraced heritage homes planned for Burke St in Addington.

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