Balancing its simple, striking form, this home's raw material textures and natural colour palette avoid visual disruption to its lakeside setting

Designer by Lee Turner, Turner Road Architecture

From the building designers:

Project description:

This lean, low profile home sprawls above Lake Karapiro, in the foothills of Maungatautari Mountain, Cambridge.

From the lakeside, the building’s laidback silhouette blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings yet its unique aesthetic commands a second look from passersby.

From the roadside, the home’s unassuming presence is felt differently, favouring subtlety and stealth. 

Our homeowners were moving from the city to enjoy a more peaceful life on the lake, so the design brief was centred on their desire for an easy living, tranquil dwelling that embraced the dramatic water views.

They were looking for a simple, contemporary shape but were keen that the building was still sympathetic to its scenic surrounds. 

The resulting long, low-slung home was constructed with raw textures and materials and a palette of colours drawn from nature, to reflect the hillside backdrop and provide minimal visual disruption to its lakeside environment.

Design features and creative solutions 

Designing the floor plan to run parallel to the lake provides a stunning, North-facing view from every significant vantage point within the home while creating a logical, very liveable flow through the internal spaces.

Bandsawn cedar and textured concrete tilt-slab walls are the focal features of this statement home.

A dramatic decorative panel casts dappled light through the concrete wall gracing the roadside elevation and provides an enticing peek to the lake views beyond.

The vertical cedar battens alongside mimic the height of the window to the South, and backlit LED strip lighting adds drama.

After experiencing the low-slung exterior, walking through the front door, visitors are struck by the contrasting natural light and airiness created by the soaring ceiling within and stunning lake views beyond.

The building compromises three main areas – a guest wing at one end, open plan living/ dining area in the centre and the master bedroom suite at the opposite end.

Each area flows into the next, yet the natural division allows space and privacy for the occupants when required.

Sustainable principles were used throughout the design.

Large glass panes to the Northern elevation take advantage of the views but also allow valuable sun into the home during winter months.

Slatted timber and steel sunshades protect from solar gain in summer but are narrow enough not to cause interference during winter.

Other considerations include highly insulated concrete slab walls and ceilings; tilt-panel concrete walls for thermal mass; double glazed argon filled aluminium joinery; and passive ventilation from well-positioned, cedar louvres, windows and doors.

Take a quick video tour of the home.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Interior design
Pool design
Pro Pools
Dimond Roofing
Window/door joinery
Fairview Cambridge
Bedroom flooring
General heating
Ducted heat pump system; gas fire
Control systems
Jotron Control System; 1000 Series Multi-room AV Systems
Rob May Building
Kitchen manufacturer
Fyfe Kitchens
Wilco Concrete - Concrete Tilt Panel, by Wilco Concrete; Western red cedar
Louvre system
NZ Louvres
Main flooring
American white oak
Escea DS1150
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Runner Up

Designed by: Lee Turner, Turner Road Architecture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Amanda Aitken

28 Nov, 2021

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