Big Bed Sale on Now!

At McKenzie & Willis, we have been supporters of the Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards for many years. An annual competition celebrating building excellence in New Zealand for which we proudly sponsor the McKenzie & Willis Interior Design award in the Canterbury and Southern events. This prestigious Lifestyle Award is awarded for excellence in workmanship, creativity and innovation and this year we congratulate the well-deserved winners John Gavin Construction (Southern) and Takahe Construction (Canterbury).

Takahe Construction

Canterbury House of the Year 2018
Category: Renovation over $1million

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After sustaining severe damage from the Christchurch Earthquake, this property was renovated and transformed into a beautiful and extraordinary family home by Takahe Construction. Encapsulating the owner’s impeccable taste and love for entertaining, this expansive home includes, six bedrooms, six ensuites, two powder rooms, a library, separate upstairs lounge, indoor squash court, gym, and pool house no less!


It’s no surprise then that a project of this size required a real team effort from all involved. The client was heavily involved with approving & changing details, along with the architects MAP, interior designers from The Duchamp Collective, and of course Takahe Construction as the main contractors headed up by owners Tim Forman and Calvin Cocks. Calvin tells us that the job was ever-evolving and at times it was organised chaos on site, “so many trades working on different stages of the job at one time. For example – we were breaking out structural block walls & putting in structural steel in one area, whilst pre-wiring & lining walls in other areas.” In the capable hands of Takahe Construction the project was managed efficiently and to the highest standard, “our focus was ensuring all trades in their work achieved exceptional quality – no matter if it was shelves in the pool pump house or the placement of light fixtures in the master bedroom” says Calvin.



Working in close collaboration with the clients and Takahe Construction, The Duchamp Collective also did an amazing job of transforming the interior, “this is evident when experiencing the luxurious nature of the surroundings once stepping into the main entrance, but in combination with the rest of the house it also manages to feel friendly, warm and comfortable – somewhere you want to go and sit down and enjoy an evening” says Calvin.

The whole existing interior make up was stripped back to a blank canvas and totally re-done, including new oak ceilings in the formal living room and family/media room. There was extensive work done with the lighting, electrical and full automation of the house, including 18 different speaker zones, controlled via smart phone capability/ technology. All the downlights and speakers were plastered flush into the ceilings, which Calvin says required precision and fore-thought, “to get each light looking right and centred over particular furniture – it took the electricians, plasterers and painters to work closely and take extreme attention with detail.”

Not only did this home take out the McKenzie & Willis Interior Design Award but also the Lifestyle Award for Outdoor Living, Renovation over $1 million gold award and category and Takahe Construction were named the winners of the Regional Supreme Renovation of the Year. They will now represent the Canterbury Region at the National House of the Year Awards for which we wish Tim and Calvin the very best of luck.



John Gavin Construction

Southern House of the Year 2018
Category: New Home over $2million

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Sitting in harmony with the beautiful landscape of its Queenstown location, this impressive home by John Gavin Construction is both at once breath-taking and awe-inspiring.

With its low, unassuming profile and dark exterior, the house appears to blend seamlessly into its idyllic environment. It was originally destined to be clad in steel but after some deliberation the owner chose western red cedar with a dark stain. John agrees that this was the right choice for the property, “the cedar provides a much softer look and really complements the surroundings.”



The remote and serene location however came with a catch. “The site is very exposed and in a high wind zone. This meant the house had to be specifically engineered to cope with the elements” says John. It also presented a challenge with access, “Our big trucks couldn’t take the traditional route through Queenstown and instead had to traverse a much longer route through Wanaka.”

Inside, the stunning interior combines a dark and monochromatic colour palette with contemporary furniture and a collection of beautiful artwork. As a passionate art lover, it was important to the owner that the home was built around showcasing his treasured sculptures and artworks. John tells us that this passion was evident from the beginning. “Throughout the entire process the client was continuously identifying different walls and pointing out spaces for his collection.”

In fact, this involvement from the owner is what John loved most about the project. “The client set up a side office on site and was involved with the build nearly every step of the way. His enthusiasm was contagious!”




John Gavin Construction was awarded the McKenzie & Willis Interior Design Award as well as a Gold for the New Home Over $2 million category and a Regional Lifestyle Award for the property’s Bathroom.

The calibre of entries this year was incredible and reflect all the hard work of building companies in the Southern and Canterbury regions. A huge congratulations to all the winners who took home awards from the evenings! To see the full list of winners visit the Registered Masterbuilders House of the Year website.

Photo credit: Registered Master Builders House of the Year.

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