A sculptural home responds to a spectacular landscape

This alpine home elegantly resolves the dichotomy that an idyllic site with gorgeous views often also comes with variable weather. Designed by Condon Scott Architects, the sculptural home opens up to the landscape and views on one side while shutting down to inclement conditions and achieving privacy on the other

Designed by Condon Scott Architects

Winner – TIDA New Zealand Home of the Year

From the architects:

This family retreat sits high on a site overlooking Lake Wanaka and seeks to capitalise on the exceptional lake and alpine views available.

Lake Wanaka is known for its seasonal onshore winds and protected outdoor spaces sheltered from this wind were an essential component of the brief. The wedge-shaped site created challenges from a planning and privacy perspective as the site is bounded on two sides by public roads.

The house is designed to offer privacy from the street. A simple mono-pitched design was developed to create private sheltered courtyards that can be occupied at different times of the day depending on sun and wind patterns. 

Clad in dark stained cedar with black window joinery, the home presents a clean understated presence to the suburban street, the subtle curves drawing the observer's eye to the mountains beyond. 

This understated palette continues internally with cedar clad walls and contrasting board marked concrete elements.

The plan form of the house is logically arranged positioning living spaces and bedrooms in the northern wing to capitalise on views and solar gain. Garaging, bunkrooms and ancillary spaces are located in the southern wing to the rear of the property.

The building has been designed with the extremes of the Central Otago climate in mind, with a view to minimise on-going running costs for heating and cooling. The house has been orientated to maximise views and solar gain particularly in winter. 

Deep eaves, and a steel shading fin to the living area are integrated into the design and allow sun ingress in winter and cut out hot summer sun.

It was a challenging site to work with, but we knew the view would be paramount to the design.

From the moment of entry into the foyer at the rear of the house, the space compresses and you are drawn through into the living room, with your eye focussed on the mountains and lake beyond.

Barry Condon

The floor slab is thermally broken from the external face of the building. Thermal insulation has been maximised in the 140mm structural wall framing, while the external face of the structural framing is lined with plywood to prevent air movement in the external drainage cavity de-rating the insulation. 

Thermally broken, double-glazed joinery is used throughout. The roof structure is similarly insulated to a high level.

The living space is configured around courtyards that are sheltered, private, and flow seamlessly from the interiors, with the body of the house providing both a windbreak and a visual barrier. 

Linked through stacking aluminum sliders, these courtyards are an extension of the living space and can be enjoyed year-round, with a boardform concrete outdoor fireplace for cooler nights. 

The front deck also flows easily from the living area, with the French oak floorboards appearing to merge with the Kwila decking.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Condon Scott Architects
Interior designer
Condon Scott Architects; owner
Hi Five, Dimond Roofing
Metro Thermal Heart, from Design Windows
Bedroom flooring
Bremworth Samurai Carpet, from McKenzie & Willis
Resene Ricecake
Stovax Studio 2 (Indoor); Jetmaster 1050 Alfresco (Outdoor), from The Fireplace
Living area furniture
George Sofa, from David Shaw
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) – New Zealand Home of the Year
Nigel Lock (NLB)
Kitchen manufacturer
Cabinetree (Wanaka)
Hermpac Vertical Shiplap Weatherboards, Dryden Wood Oil
Louvre system
Custom shading fin, designed by Condon Scott Architects
Main flooring, living areas
French Oak Forte Flooring, from Wanaka Wood Floors
Bathroom tiles:
Regoli Bianco Sticks, from Surface Design Nelson
General heating
Daikin Heat Pumps, ARE Services Queenstown
Feature light fittings
Hemingway Pendant, from Mr Ralph
Dining table/chairs:

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Simon Devitt

22 Nov, 2020

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