Builder: Davidson Building Ltd
Photography: Simon Devitt
Crisp-etched geometry drawn from a singular material elevates this single-storey dwelling beyond the basic. Subtle details steer the exterior away from the purity of monolithic expression. Varying widths of cedar boards – wider below, narrow above – lend textural detail and a fine red trim which outlines the edge of the small step in the cladding is a delicate, coloured hem that provides depth to the façade.
Built for a couple who retired to Wānaka, the architectural emphasis was on a timelessness of form that keyed into both the immediate and remote landscape. With no plans to sub-divide, and a future focus on planting an orchard on the land, positioning the relatively humble building on its generous section became key. A carefully designed internal programme set the agenda for it to be placed at an offset angle to the boundaries of the wedge-shaped site, its sloping roofline in harmony with the rise of Little Mount Iron in its backyard.
The plan turns its face to the sun yet simultaneously responds to the prevailing Norwester. The dining and kitchen spaces, on the eastern elevation, are sandwiched by decking on two sides for sheltered outdoor living. High windows along the southern flank, where the service areas are grouped, coax gentle light into the heart of the home.
The red trim sets up a dadum which flows from outside into the entry and around the kitchen where it skirts the perimeter of a vaulted pitch. This lofty ceiling, clad in cedar, speaks at once of volume and embrace. A bespoke screen, made of round steel columns, lends separation between dining and living, and connects visually with a horizontal-batten detail above the kitchen cabinetry, as crafted elements within the contemporary palette.
A simple concept and superior thermal performance ensure a comfortable living environment in a building that will age with grace.