Parsons House: Breathtaking Views and Sustainable Design

Situated atop Mt Pleasant in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Parsons House is a private residence designed by the talented team at MC Architecture Studio. Completed in 2021, this captivating home seamlessly blends into the existing dense foliage, offering a sense of seclusion and privacy while boasting expansive views over the estuary and the city beyond.

The two-winged design pivots around the heart of the home, creating a protective shelter from the southern environment while embracing the northern sun and panoramic vistas. With a focus on high-performance features, this residence showcases a harmonious balance of sleek, metallic surfaces and soft, timber elements, resulting in a truly remarkable architectural masterpiece.

Striking angular wood ceiling, neutral color palette, and open living/dining space.

A modern kitchen featuring a sleek, dark countertop, wood cabinets, and pendant lighting.


Minimalist bathroom with gray tile walls, vanity with dual sinks, and wall-mounted mirrors.

A modern, minimalist bathroom with a freestanding bathtub, glass wall, and dark tile accents.

Sleek modern terrace with panoramic views and cozy furniture overlooking a cityscape.


Scenic modern architecture nestled in lush greenery and rolling hills at sunset.

A modern, beautifully designed house nestled among lush greenery, featuring striking architectural elements and illuminated interiors.

About Parsons House

Parsons House stands tall, nestled within the dense foliage of its Christchurch, New Zealand site. Perched atop Mt. Pleasant, this private residence boasts vast views over the estuary and the city beyond.

A Sheltered and Private Sanctuary

The two wings of the house curve inward, pivoting around the central living space. This enclosing shape creates a sense of shelter and protection from the southern environment, while opening to the northern sun and stunning vistas. The mysterious entrance, hidden amongst the lush vegetation, further emphasizes the home’s secrecy and privacy.

A Captivating Entrance Experience

The entrance bridge, designed to resemble an estuary pier, winds through and above the existing mature foliage, retaining as much of the natural landscape as possible. This captivating approach leads to a surprising and delightful entry point.

Framing the Breathtaking Views

As you step inside, the framed estuary views and the sculptural timber ceiling, reaching up to a central skylight, instantly captivate. This architectural feature aims to open and soften the living space, creating a larger atmosphere within an intimate area.

Sculptural Design Elements

The converging timber batten ceiling and the artistically composed glass and steel balustrade on the internal stairwell become sculptural elements, designed to reflect the richness of the outdoor vistas.

Balancing Hardness and Softness

The home’s exterior is primarily clad in a metal tray profile, adding to the sense of mystery and secrecy. In contrast, softer vertical timber cladding is introduced to the areas of occupancy and vulnerability, such as the entrance and the northern outdoor living space.

Sustainable and Efficient Design

Parsons House is designed with high insulation values, external insulation of the thermal mass, and controlled thermal gain. The enhanced cross-ventilation, using the chimney effect between the low-lying south windows and skylight, ensures efficient cooling during the summer months.

Overall, Parsons House is a masterful blend of architectural innovation, environmental sensitivity, and captivating design, creating a truly unique and private sanctuary amidst the lush Mt. Pleasant landscape.

Photography by Clinton Lloyd
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– by Matt Watts