Soroka House - Dravitzki Brown Architecture | ArchiPro

Soroka House graces a large rural section in the ‘golden triangle’ of the Wakatipu Basin.

The building is dramatic and symmetrical in appearance, its exterior materiality taking notes from the surrounding landscape – beautiful and durable, concrete, cedar, steel and glass dominate.

“It looks like solid concrete, but it’s actually an insulated poly block base wall that then has a cast concrete skin over the top,” says Dravitzki Brown’s Alister Brown, explaining that with concrete’s characteristically low R value, this design improves the home’s insulation.

“The key was to get that insulated block in first, and then we cast in-situ concrete around it.”

A simple colour palette, the structure lets the environment take centre stage. Entering the home on the southern side through a defined entry, north and south-facing pavilions allow the occupants to enjoy views of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables simultaneously.

To the right of the entrance sits the kitchen, dining, living and master bedroom, says Alister.

“And then on the left is a sitting area and then three other bedrooms. There are two master suites that extend on the far left and far right of the house in the two pavilions.”

Loft spaces are found above each double garage, and can cater for four people each – giving the property four bedrooms plus two lofts.

Similar to the exterior, the interior materiality is pure and simple.

“There’s a clean palette, and we’ve got the polished concrete floors as well which run through a lot of the living spaces,” says Alister, which marries all of the materials together and provides a modern, industrial look.

The exterior’s cedar battens are accented on interior walls and sections of ceiling, as well as on the kitchen island bench. Here, the use of stainless steel for the benchtops and splashback is durable and forgiving while oak cabinetry adds warmth to the space. A cantilevered steel beam light hovers over the island.

“Again, the interior materiality is very simple – oak, concrete and steel, plus the cedar of course which we’ve wrapped through the entry and the pivot doors. A very simple, clean material palette inside,” says Alister.

The large internal pivot doors also mean that the home can essentially be divided into two.

“If you had a different family or friends down in the west pavilion, they can have their own bedrooms and living area with fire and TV. So you can have a little bit of separation.”

Covering such a large footprint, the construction of this home wasn’t without its challenges – but determination and expert design and craftsmanship came together to create the stunning outcome.

“The concrete did turn out to be a pretty major exercise, especially with those chimneys on the entry as well being so high and all being poured in-situ, but I think it was worth the journey because it’s the anchor of the house.”

As for Alister's favourite part of the project, he says that it is hard to go past the entrance.

“You get a really good impression on that entry with that materiality and the pocket view.

“The whole home is a very strong, beautiful structure.”

Words: Cassie Birrer

Photography by Alister Brown

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Soroka House sits in the Wakatipu Basin.
The two pavilions can can be separated internally and used as different spaces.
Concrete textures continue from the exterior to the interior.
Extensive glazing allows the stunning view to be enjoyed from the interior.
A gabled ceiling in the main living space adds to the home's grandeur.
Oak cabinetry and stainless steel feature in the kitchen, with a cantilevered beam light over the island bench.
Cedar panels have been used on sections of walls and ceiling.
A modern industrial aesthetic continues through the dwelling.
The entrance is centred, a large pivot door welcoming visitors to the home.