2015 Canterbury Architecture Awards Winner
Munro House (1968)
The exterior of the Munro house is beautifully proportioned. The size, shape and arrangement of the three windows on the north elevation is close to perfect. The materials and detailing on the outside are absolutely consistent with Warren and Mahoney houses of this era. The ground floor living spaces meander and flow down from entry level, contrasting tight corners with double height spaces and a broad view out to the north. Internally, the finishes are bold: Painted blockwork; chunky quarry tiles; exposed floor joists; timber floorboards; off-the-shutter concrete features. Upstairs, the sloping bedroom ceilings are so low it feels like a cosy, attic space. This serves as a reminder that small, well-designed spaces, where the client’s dollar is stretched to the maximum, can often be more enriching than large spaces. Throughout there is a ‘lightness of touch’ clearly evident in not only project architect Nicholas Kennedy’s drawings, but in the design elements to which he was allowed to contribute. Kennedy died in his early thirties but showed incredible architectural talent. He was instrumental in some of Warren and Mahoney’s key 1970’s projects including the Christchurch Town Hall, Dorset St Tower, College House Chapel. Over the past five years the owners have painstakingly restored the Munro House, bringing it back to original condition.