Harbourside Hummer


The Bowater family has become a part of the landscape in the Harbour Basin and Banks Peninsula region.

Bowater Builders owner Greg Bowater says his family have been building homes in the Harbour Basin for more than 50 years.

Greg appreciates that the homes they build are part of the landscape and will remain so for years to come. “They will be part of the history of this area, so it’s important to make them a positive addition.”

Self-proclaimed office slave, co-owner and quantity surveyor, Andrea Bowater, says Greg has never been one to blow his own trumpet, but he’s been building great houses for years.

This year, for the first time, Andrea entered one of their homes into the House of the Year Awards — just for interest’s sake.



The home, a Lyttelton build, sits on a tricky hill-site and blends seamlessly into the streetscape of the historic port town with its exterior affinity to a dainty boat shed.

“As always in hill areas, access was one of the big challenges,” Greg explains.

“The property is fronted with a 2.7m concrete retaining wall that had a tight clearance between the top and the overhead power lines, so everything had to be carried up the old brick steps, 35 in all, (not that he was counting), or by using a Hiab, as we could not operate a crane with such tight clearances.

“Having worked on hills for many years now, I think the main way to overcome challenges that arise are to plan well and make sure there is a back-up plan if things don’t quite go to that plan.

“We have an impressive team of sub-contractors that I know I can trust and are experienced at solving these problems.

“The health and safety aspect of this type of work has to be acknowledged. These are sites that need to be managed well, kept tidy, and staff need to be aware of what’s going on around them.”

These builds are Greg’s fortè and as such he takes the challenges in his stride.

The finished product speaks volumes. A contemporary home with exposed structural details offering an industrial feel.

“The open plan design lends itself to the owners eclectic industrial-style furniture,” Andrea explains.

The high ceilings allow for a grand mezzanine floor that is used as a second living area, an observation platform, a spare bedroom and an office.

Expansive harbour views provide serenity, a sense of lightness and airiness in contrast with the strong industrial finish.

And, just for interest’s sake, 50 years of quality workmanship was confirmed when Bowater Builders was awarded with the Regional Category Winner award, a Gold Award, and are through for a second round of judging at the National House of the Year Awards as Gold Reserve Finalists.

Bowater Builders Ltd, 22 David Street, Lyttelton
027 435 9473 / office@bowaterbuilders.co.nz

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