Beautiful in black

The brief was clear and the result was stunning for this Hebel-clad home in the Christchurch suburb of Merivale.

The owners wanted to create a home that was unique and sculptural in its appearance, and that would reflect their enjoyment of entertaining.

And they had very definite ideas about how they wanted this to be achieved.

“Our client specified a fairly radical colour scheme for the exterior – black,” said Andrew Smithson of DD Architects, explaining the reasons that led to the choice of the Hebel PowerPanelXL system for the home’s exterior.

“There aren’t many products on the market that are inert enough to take a black colour scheme. We knew Hebel had that quality and would also suit the project in other ways.”

Andrew and fellow architect, Luisa Viettone, who worked with him on the project, were therefore happy with the use of Hebel, especially as the client was already conversant with it too.

“The client was familiar with Hebel and comfortable with it, and we had no problem specifying it, so it was the choice,” he said.

Apart from meeting the client’s requirements for the appearance of the home, there were other, practical reasons for the choice of Hebel.

Interior peace enhanced by Hebel

“While there are a number of AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete) products on the market, we believe that the way in which Hebel is installed gives it better acoustic and thermal performance,” said Andrew.

A superior acoustic performance was particularly important in view of the home’s location on a corner and next to a mall car park.

Hebel Manager Stephen Walker said that Hebel’s ability to reduce sound from external sources, such as the traffic in the nearby parking area, enabled the home owners to enjoy a quiet and peaceful interior, undisturbed by the outside noise.

At the same time, and also through the use of Hebel on the exterior, they were able to achieve the modern and monolithic appearance they wanted for their home.

Stephen said that in addition to its acoustic and thermal benefits and fire resistant properties, the Hebel system’s resilience was another factor in its selection for the home.  This resilience was regarded as a key consideration when building in an area such as Canterbury, in order to take into consideration the possibility of seismic activity and ground settlement.

Hebel also had the advantage of being a lighter alternative to many other claddings on the market.

First impression sustained throughout

The striking first impression of the home was sustained over the two floors of the interior and a private outdoor living area, with a predominance of black offset by white throughout.

“We were after an uncompromising, contemporary home and Hebel was certainly able to fit that bill,” said Andrew.

“It gave us the sleek appearance with the clean lines that we wanted, it didn’t require a lot of fuss with the installation and, overall, it reflected what the client wanted. It was a good fit, and ideally suited to the brief.”


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