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Duncraft House, Nicholas Kennedy / Ian Bisman

David Straight

The Duncraft House (1974-1986) Christchurch, New Zealand

The Duncraft House is the result of a collaboration between two architects, Nicholas Kennedy and Ian Bisman, taking place over more than a decade.

John and Wendy Duncraft purchased the property in the late 1960s and commissioned a large extension from Nicholas Kennedy. Kennedy was a young architect who, after starting at Warren and Mahoney, had gone out on his own in the early 1970s.

Kennedy, however, became too ill to continue. He died in 1977, aged just 33. He produced only a few buildings under his own name — enough however to create the widely held view that he would have gone on to greater things. Ian Bisman took over the project. Bisman adopted Kennedy’s initial concept, subtly improved aspects of the plan, drew up the construction set and oversaw each stage of the build.

It is a building that has, for whatever reason, stayed below the radar.





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