Kowhai Chalet - MnM Design | ArchiPro

Kowhai Chalet

The client's brief was for a maximum size holiday home that catches the mountain views, but has minimal energy consumption. At entry level (which is the top level) the house looks modest, but opens up towards the mountain to catch the views over 2 storeys. The concrete basement anchors the house into the bank.

At street level a generous hallway leads to the dry room / laundry, so people can get rid of their gear before entering the living area. The open plan dining / kitchen / lounge area is completely focused on the view of Mount Ruapehu. The lounge extends onto a balcony with mountain views. The dining area opens up to a small afternoon sun deck on the side of the house. The master bedroom is hidden away on the side of the lounge with its own ensuite bathroom, walk-in wardrobe, balcony and of course mountain views. As per the owner's request the whole upper storey can be used as a separate apartment. The down stairs, with 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, separate toilet and rumpus (tv) room, functions as an ‘overflow’.

The interior of the house has a mountain chalet feel to it, with lots of wood and mountain views from most rooms.

We have incorporated passive house principles into this design to make sure the energy use is minimised. The orientation of the house towards the sun is optimized, we have made a thermal envelope to make sure the house has minimal fluctuation of temperature throughout the seasons. The joinery is thermally broken, basement walls are ICF wall system (highly insulated concrete), and the mid-floor is a concrete floor (to absorb and maintain heat, and radiate this heat slowly).

The whole thermal envelope is upgraded to secure a very ambient interior climate.

The top storey of the house has oversized timber framing to accommodate double the insulation required. Another part of the upgrade is the installation of an intelligent vapour control membrane, that enhances the performance of the thermal insulation, it keeps all the moisture out of the walls. Good ventilation measures are applied in conjunction with this system.

We have designed this building with an aesthetically pleasing interior and exterior and a high energy efficiency.

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