An increasing number of very large high country homes represents a niche market around the Wakatipu Basin, Lake Wanaka, Lake Dunstan and Te Anau. They are isolated, remote and surrounded by very little aside from the stunning beauty of some of the best landscapes in the world - relatively untouched regions where the architectural vernacular has developed to respond to and fit within the landscape, to satisfy specific client objectives and stand the test of time.
“The majority of clients who approach us to design the largest of these homes (750 - 2000m2 plus) in these areas are from overseas. Quite often self-made and adventurous types, many have done something extraordinary in their younger years – such as elite sportspeople or ex-Olympians who have gone on to create successful careers,” Mason and Wales’ director Hamish Muir says.
They visit the region as a tourist and stay at a lodge, fall in love with the country and the area and go on to purchase land and build homes here. "Our experience has helped us to develop an understanding of the lifestyles of clients at the high-end of the market and respond to their needs, despite not necessarily being able to relate to them,” Hamish says.
“While the homes may be relatively large by New Zealand standards, the clients do not seem to be interested in showing off or making a statement, despite their financial ability to do so. "The most common desires of these clients are that they don’t want to be able to see any roads, aeroplanes or neighbours.”