This Wanaka home is the warmest, and the coolest that the owners have ever lived in, even given the mountain environment. The home's interesting architecture starts well before the front door

Designed by Higham Architecture

From the architects:

Carports are often an unsightly afterthought, but in this new home, the owner’s ’s request for inclusion of a carport (for their boat) sparked an inspiring design response that informed the aesthetic for the entire road frontage. The dramatic ‘floating’ roof forms shelter not only for the carport, but also the garage and entrance walkway.

Partnered with horizontal cedar weatherboards below and white plaster beside, the black profiled metal roof wraps down to form wing walls for an overall visually striking result. This captured the owner’s desire for something different – a home that would be uniquely modern and refreshing.

Situated near the shores of Lake Wanaka and with picturesque mountainous backdrops all around, the hillside site presented several challenges. A series of stepped floor levels were employed to flow down the slope, providing a close connection with the land, along with a heightened sense of southerly weather shelter and roadside privacy for the lower bedroom and living levels. 

Meanwhile, a large swathe of public reserve land on the low northern boundary ensured wide open views would be possible across the entire living level, but also necessitated the creation of several outdoor living areas to give options during the strong winds regularly passing through the reserve.

With neighbours either side having already built (or started), positioning and orientation of the home was able to be refined for optimal views and sunlight. Further capitalising on this are the high windows and doors with their large expanses of glass and the level access decking for enhanced indoor-outdoor flow.

An eye on thermal comfort and energy efficiency during design paired the high performance glazing with increased insulation elsewhere and polished concrete floors to culminate in a home that the owners report as being both the most naturally warm and naturally cool house they’ve ever lived in!

The open-plan living spaces are enriched with beautiful built-in joinery, including a discretely placed study nook that is perfect for the clients home office needs. A built-in log fire also features, complete with its own unique cantilevered firewood storage ‘chimney’ on the exterior.

Ablution and service rooms are located internally, either side of a generous central welcoming hallway, to enable all bedrooms to benefit from maximum sunlight and warmth. 

The internal rooms, including the hallway, are not without their own natural light or ventilation however, as the roofline and high ceilings were specifically crafted to provide space for clerestory windows. 

A guest bedroom at the front of the house was provided with an ensuite bathroom and external access to enable potential future income for the homeowners.

Credit list

Architectural designer
Jason Higham
Kitchen manufacturer
Trends Kitchens (Cromwell)
Interior designer
Angela Bell
Colorsteel Endura, Five Rib profile, from Wanaka Roofing; Cedar horizontal weatherboards, by Hermpac; Integra LWC Façade System, by Resene ConstructionSystems
Window/door joinery
Altherm, from Design Windows, Cromwell; entry door – Plasma, from APL, via Design Windows,Cromwell; glass supplier – Metro Performance Glass
Bella Casa
Angela Bell and Red Electrical
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
Kitchen designer
Angela Bell and Trends Kitchens
Ian Bell
Landscape design
The Yard
Colorsteel Endura, Five Rib profile, from Wanaka Roofing; Butynol, by Ardex
Main flooring
Polished concrete floor
Wood fire – Stovax Riva Studio 2 wood fire, from The Fireplace, Dunedin; underfloor Heating by Red Electrical; Daikin air conditioning, from Airmax Refrigeration & AirConditioning, Wanaka
Mt Iron Joinery, Wanaka

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Marina Matthews and Dale Wowk

16 Feb, 2020

Sharing your Vision

Inspired Living

Jetmaster Outdoors

Home kitchen bathroom commercial design

We know the Specialists

Similar Stories