Lake Hawea House, Lake Hawea - Condon Scott Architects | ArchiPro

Lake Hawea House, Lake Hawea

Located on the shores of Lake Hawea, twenty minutes’ drive from Wanaka, this newly constructed house capitalises on breathtaking views of the lake and Southern Alps—with an aesthetic that is definitively of the area.

High on the list was creating a family home that is warm and sheltered from the weather, says architect Barry Condon.

“Planning restrictions limited the width and height of the building, while the often strong winds coming in off the lake had to be taken into account when establishing the shape of the house.

“Arranged in an ‘H’ configuration, the bulk of the building creates a series of terraces and courtyards and protects them from the wind. These spaces can be occupied at various times, depending on coeval weather patterns.”

Atmospheric considerations were not the only factors that needed to be taken into account, Barry says.

“At the initial briefing, the homeowners indicated they were keen for the house to have an interesting roofline, visible on approach from the main driveway. This presented quite a challenge as there was a 4.5-metre height control restriction over the site. To solve this issue, we developed a series of interpassing roof planes.

“Externally this combination of volumes presents a dynamic roof form to the observer while internally they create a series of both larger volumes and smaller, more intimate spaces.”

An understated palette of cedar, local stone and steel sheaths the exterior and continues into the interior of the home, reinforcing connections to the landscape. This is furthered by a pair of heavy schist walls, which flank the living spaces and contain seating, shelving and a fireplace.

“These walls are orientated to the view and form a pair of organising axes that run through the house. They echo the early settler’s cottages common to the area, establishing a sense of history within the fabric of the new building,” says Barry.

Throughout the house, a series of raked cedar ceilings—the result of those roof planes—angle the eye towards different aspects of the view, while the living and bedroom spaces have been positioned to take full advantage of the wide-spanning vistas. Garaging and utility spaces are located to the rear.

“The house has been designed to reduce the need for heating and cooling, with thermally broken windows and insulation levels well above code. Passive solar gain has been taken into account with louvres and eaves that can be utilised in the summer months to prevent overheating. A heated polished concrete slab acts as a thermal sink in the winter.”

For Barry, this has been a satisfying project that has also been well received by the community, public and homeowners.

Highly Commended 2019 TIDA Homes Awards
Finalist 2019 DINZ Best Awards

Photography by Simon Devitt and Simon Larkin.

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