Aesthetically, the design of dwellings in Central Otago tends to be driven by the location and the typography – whether the house will sit above the snow line or beside the lake, for example. “If it’s above the snow line, that often means the design will lend itself to a steeper pitched roof to shed snow, whereas if it’s down by the lake you may be looking at council-imposed restrictions so a house in this location might lend itself to a lower pitched, more broken up roof form.”
Natural light is a critical factor in any design. “Rooms need to be designed to maximise on natural light, so for example a kitchen area might be orientated to the east to take in the morning light, while living areas might be orientated towards the west to maximise on the afternoon and early evening sun,” Barry says.
Wherever possible, Barry encourages clients to incorporate areas of internal thermal mass, whether that be tiled or polished concrete floors or masonry walls, all of which act as a heat sink within the house, holding heat throughout the day and releasing it slowly as the temperature drops in the evening. “Insulation is critical too, for all the seasons, and to retain passive solar gain.”
In regards to landscaping and the outdoors, Barry always encourages clients if their budget will allow it, to incorporate various outdoor areas, which can be used at different times of the day and in different seasons.
“Essentially though, the key to a successfully designed home is creating one that can adapt and change with the seasons,” Barry says. “It will be cool in summer and warm in winter. There will be a variety of outdoor spaces to give the client options, and robust materials will be used for cladding that have been tried and tested in the extremes of the Central Otago climate.”
If you’re looking at building a home in this area, visit Condon Scott Architects on ArchiPro here to peruse some of their latest work.