Location: Wanaka

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This courtyard house is a direct response to the site. The aim of the house was to achieve a home with stunning views, outdoor connection, shelter, and thermal comfort. This was achieved through careful planning and detailing, whilst still expressing form and materiality.

The old Wanaka adage of ‘where there’s a view, there’s wind,’ held true with this elevated site overlooking Lake Wanaka. This was one of the main drivers of the design. Large glazed areas to the North of the house frame the stunning views, giving a light, open feel to the home. Shelter in outdoor living is provided with an internal courtyard. This is as much for outdoor living, as it is for being able to have sliding doors open for fresh air – even with a Northerly wind blowing.

Materiality is expressed in this house to give a feel of traditional Kiwi bach architecture. The post and beam structure gives a classic rhythm along the northern faced with an array of verandah posts. Cedar cladding provides warmth to contrast the hard surfaces of the large expanse of glazing and polished concrete surfaces.

Another reality of this Wanaka site is the cold winter climate, paired with hot summers. To combat this, high thermal detailing was provided in four distinct areas:

  • Glazing: Due to the large area of glazing, high quality joinery suites were opted for. Triple glazed, argon filled, low E coatings, with thermally broken frames.
  • Roofing: Metalcraft insulated panels were used in the roofing. This system removes thermal bridges to avoid heat loss through the ceiling.
  • Framing: Whilst still using conventional framing, this house utilises a practice known as ‘criss-cross’ framing to help reduce the thermal bridging inherent with timber framing.
  • Slab: A raft foundation system was used with fully insulated and thermally broken detailing. Under slab, and slab edge insulation greatly reduces heat loss though the house floor.

The detailing results in a home which is comfortable year round, and which costs less to heat. Overall, the project has been a successful response to the site and client requirements.

Photographer: The Photographer's Studio & Laboratory