Pristine views and private spaces

Nestled in a spectacular setting, this home is shaped to maximise the outlooks while providing privacy from street and neighbours

Designed by MJWarchitecture

From the architect:

The brief

The house was to fulfil several roles – multi-generational holiday home and gathering destination; stop off point for South Island sheep dog trials and skiing trips, and ultimately as a future full time home. 

The house had to be adaptable and to be able accommodate several families – from toddlers right through to grandparents – together at one time, both for short trips and longer holiday stays.

The most important brief directive was that all rooms were to have access to the incredible views of Lake Hawea; the view had to be able to be enjoyed while BBQing outside, too – no matter the weather or strength of the wind howling across the lake.

It was to be a low maintenance building with a modern design feel and a Scandinavian design influence to the interior.

The homeowners, a mature farming couple from Taihape, had quite different design tastes, so there was a constant tightrope walked during the design phase.

 A couple of definite NOs for the house were – no schist rock and no tiling!

Site/design challenges and response to site and brief

The site itself was by far the biggest challenge – it is compact, awkwardly shaped and flanked by a busy road on one side and public footpaths and neighbours on the others. 

There’s also a protected view shaft caveat passing through the northwest corner of the site, so no building or planting was allowed there, as well as some sizeable boundary setback requirements.

Balancing privacy and access to the view became an exercise in house placement and planning:

  • The house was set back as much as possible from the front of the site to provide a maximum buffer from passing walkers, while still maximising the available square meterage.
  • Existing planting was retained where possible.
  • The garage was incorporated into the centre of the house with the bedrooms placed on top, to both maximise space and – with the bedrooms being raised and setback – also allow for a good level of privacy from walkers looking up.
  • The master suite and lounge have angled walls which are in part a response to the mountains across the lake, as well as a strategy to provide some semblance of privacy from traffic approaching from Wanaka travelling along Capell Ave.
  • The relationship between the western end of the lounge and master suite also creates a small outdoor terrace to provide a setback, semi private viewing position.
  • A covered courtyard sits at the heart of the house, with its large sliding doors open it is able to be incorporated entirely into the main living spaces – from here views to the lake can be enjoyed with the louvres above opened or closed.
  • The main living spaces are all connected but with varying degrees of visual separation, be it behind timber battens, behind glazed doors, or down or up a few steps – allowing families to gather together or spend time apart but still connected, but most importantly of all – still enjoying the amazing views!

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Mark John Warren
Nuwall aluminium E series and Mono 200 Dimond's LT7 profile in Colorsteel, in Tidal Drift Matte; Siberian larch rusticated weatherboards, flamed and oiled from Rosenfeld Kidson
Louvre system
Concertina SkyLouvre, by Johnson and Couzins
Main heating
Heated concrete slab
Entry and garage hallway – flamed Siberian larch rusticated weatherboards from Rosenfeld Kidson; GIB plasterboard with Resene paint; 1st floor hallway – Birch Classique pre-finished ply from Plymasters; bathrooms – Hardies InVibe and wallpaper from The Inside and Birch Classique pre-finished ply from Plymasters; bedrooms – wallpaper from The Inside and Paperhands, and Birch Classique pre-finished ply from Plymasters
General heating
Ground floor – Rehau inslab heating system; 1st floor – heat pump powered wall mounted radiators, both from PolarEnergi
Lighting design by Venky Kannan, Fifth Season Lighting Design
Brent McDonald Builders
Kitchen manufacturer
R A Hale Joinery
Dimond's LT7 profile in Colorsteel, in Tidal Drift Matte
Window/door joinery
APL Architectural and Vantage Metro ThermalHeart
Bedroom flooring
Real wool carpet, from Flooring Xtra
Resene Alabaster; Resene Bunting
Ecosmart Flex biofuel, from Naked Flame; Jetmaster Quadro log burner, from Turfrey
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Runner Up

Designed by: MJWarchitecture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Simon Larkin

11 Dec, 2022

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