Bill Sutton’s Historic House Officially Recognized as a Category 1 Heritage Building

Bill Sutton's home and studio, where he lived from 1963 until his death in 2000, is now a Category 1 heritage building.


Bill Sutton’s home and studio, where he lived from 1963 until his death in 2000, is now a Category 1 heritage building.

The former home of Canterbury artist Bill Sutton has been officially added to New Zealand’s heritage list.

The house, located in the Christchurch suburb of Richmond, has been listed as a Category 1 heritage building by Heritage New Zealand, Christchurch City Council said.

Sutton, who died in 2000, was a well-known New Zealand artist and he painted most of his famous works at the Christchurch home.

He was best known for his paintings of New Zealand landscapes, particularly of the Canterbury region.

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His house was classified as a red zone after the Christchurch earthquakes and later purchased by the Crown.


The former Christchurch home of Kiwi artist Bill Sutton is now open to the public, restored after a campaign to save it from demolition following the earthquakes.

In 2018, the house was saved from demolition. It has since been restored by Land Information New Zealand and in late 2020 was donated to Christchurch City Council.

In March last year, Sutton’s house reopened to the public. It is now used by an artist-in-residence program.

Sutton lived in the house from 1963 until his death. It was designed by his friend and colleague from Canterbury College School of Art, Tom Taylor.

About a third of the house’s floor space is dedicated to a living space and a studio where Sutton worked on his paintings.

Bill Sutton, photographed in 1992.

Dean Kozanic / Stuff

Bill Sutton, photographed in 1992.

Adding it to the heritage list means it is Christchurch’s only heritage-listed artist’s home, the council said.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she was delighted that the significance of the house had been officially recognised.

“Sutton House holds a special place in the art history of Christchurch and deserves its Grade 1 listing,” she said.

Dalziel described Sutton as an extraordinary artist and a proud Cantabrian.

“You can still feel his presence on the property, even after all these years,” she said.