Lake Wanaka Stone House - Chaney & Norman Architects | ArchiPro

Lake Wanaka Stone House

Despite having great character, an existing 1970’s Oamaru Stone home was insular and had no visual or physical connection of the fantastic lake views directly over the adjoining lakeside reserve. The clients considered pulling the house down but as the house was well constructed with good materials and workmanship, it was decided to develop upon the character of the existing house and to add new living areas and a master bedroom suite that could be a lot more transparent to connect to the uninterrupted lake & mountain views while allowing vistas through the building into private courtyards and landscaping.

Rooms of the existing house were quite inward looking so these became the bedrooms, a media room, a study and services spaces, while a new extensively glazed pavilion with living spaces was added to the lakeside of the home.

From this mix of old and new, a number of themes were developed upon; Open / Enclosed ; Day / Night ; Summer / Winter;  Formal / Informal. Individual external spaces were created with each of the internal spaces having its own outdoor court allowing users to follow the sun, avoid the wind or to seek some privacy.

Adjustable cedar shutters slide along the verandahs of the living spaces providing protection from the lower angled sun to the east and west while providing options for privacy. The dynamic screens are often left closed but with the shutters open to provide a dappled light and to frame different vistas at different times of the year.

Ceilings to new areas where either vaulted to match parts of the existing house, or flat ceilings were kept at a high 3m stud. This meant that mountain tops were not cut short and that a generous volume was achieved.  Where there is extensive glazing, acoustic ceiling linings were utilised to stop reverberation and to create a calm acoustic space. Oamaru stone acts as the common link between new and old sections of the house, as well as new landscape elements. Oamaru stone is also brought into the house, connecting the external cladding into the entry and link spaces and cladding both the interior and exterior of the chimneys. Different techniques such as sawn or bolstered faces and random widths were all utilised to celebrate the properties of this unifying material.

We first met Chris Norman some 10 years ago when we sought professional help to optimise our property at the edge of Lake Wanaka.  The existing house was a Ted McCoy’s design and the original owners had since purchased additional land in front of that property.

Our brief to the Architects was, to take advantage of the available land. All options were on the table from a knockdown to remodel. Chris’s approach won.  He took the time to understand what we wanted, had carefully researched the history of the property and the potential represented in the land available.  His solution was an innovative blending of the existing and new pavilions, creating the indoor /outdoor balance we were seeking, meeting all of our requirements and budget constraints, whilst maintaining the integrity of the original McCoy design.

The property has featured in Magazines such as Trends and visitors are often surprised that the original part of the property was built in the 1970s. We have continued to work with Chris on a number of subsequent enhancements over time because of his integrity and creativity.  He is pragmatic taking into account local planning requirements and new materials available. Without exception, we have found his advice professional and trustworthy.

Location: Wanaka
Builder: Iain Whyte Building
Photographer: Andrew Urquhart + Jamie Cobeldick 

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