Stackbrae: a new model for suburban housing

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Stackbrae is an entire street of good-quality, architect-designed homes that are orientated to the sun and the views of the mountainous landscape around Wanaka. This award-winning development of 31 homes offers an alternative model for suburban housing.

Group-home design and build companies currently dominate the housing development market, with architects and architectural designers rarely influencing this slice of the pie. However, at Stackbrae, Arrowtown-based studio Assembly Architects and Wanaka-based developer Satomi Holdings did things a bit differently. They created a model that would create a more cohesive development, which halves the design and consenting time, as well as reducing the associated cost for the purchasers – ensuring that homes could be built without delay after settlement.  

“We adopted a different product/model than other housing developments in Wanaka, with the aim of improving and speeding up the process,” explains architect Justin Wright. “It was a good time in the market to do this,” says Justin. “In the past decade or so, a lot of new suburbs have arisen in the Wanaka area with no or little design controls, with some average design outcomes. Developments with design controls generally improve the design outcomes, but these create an expensive and slow process for buyers. Many people have been dissatisfied and our developer didn’t want that result – we wanted to raise the design standard and add some flexibility into the process.”

“At Stackbrae, we halved the time to get on site, compared with similar developments, which typically takes around six months to get through the initial process. This meant that buyers of homes at Stackbrae were able to purchase the land and start building on site within 16 weeks of signing up,” says Justin.

Long before the Stackbrae project began, Satomi Holiding’s Stuart Pinfold had commissioned Assembly Architects to design for him a rammed-earth house across the road from the site, where he realised that he wanted to create a more ‘design-influenced’ suburb nearby. Firstly, he gained resource consent to create the laneways on the land and, then, sought architects who would create a strong design outcome that would maximise sun, privacy, views and quality outdoor space.

The resulting 31 homes shares a consistent design language but each one varies little bit to create variety. House sizes and shapes differ, as does the orientation and material palette. Claddings come in timber, brick or masonry, or combinations of those. “They share similar elements but every house is unique to start with,” explains Justin. “Each is a little bit different than the others and these variations are also a good talking point within the Stackbrae community.”

The developer didn’t want to construct the actual buildings, so the land packages were sold with consented plans and a covenant to build.  “Half the houses were purchased by the residents and one of the builders liked it so much, he bought a land package and moved in,” remarks Justin. “The real estate agents were resistant to the model at first but, because the houses are efficient to build and consent process was smooth, and they were up and running quickly, they soon came around.”

The 2.5ha site has a low slope to the north, with great views to the east and west. The house designs are either stand-alone or duplex arrangements and are configured much like courtyard houses – with L-shaped plans and massing on the lot edges to draw sun into the middle of the sites – directly challenging the district plan setback rules.  The walls on the boundary have no windows and are rendered in durable materials to avoid fencing.

With efficiency in mind, Assembly has designed the houses with good thermal envelopes to reduce energy bills and to ensure comfort, and they utilise economical construction methods to keep the costs down. Whilst Stackbrae isn’t intended to be ‘affordable housing’ as such, this model places architect-designed homes at a more accessible price point than is typical.

The development comes complete with a landscaping guide with three different types of planting laid out in the plans. The landscaping is currently being completed but, unlike other developments, there are no empty lots left on the site. “The Stackbrae community is already up and running and is more established than some subdivisions that were started 10 years ago,” suggests Justin. “The residents have found that the quality of the houses is so much higher than what was expected and they are some of the happiest clients we’ve ever had.”

 

Quick stats

Location: Cardrona Valley Road, Wanaka

Developer: Satomi Holdings

Site size: 2.5 hectares, subdivided into 21 lots with 31 homes

Floor area: Varies from around 165m² to 245m²

_________________________________________________

Words by Justine Harvey.

Photography by Simon Devitt, unless specified.

 

AWARDS: NZIA Southern Architecture Award 2019 Multi-unit Housing

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Enquire about the process / fees
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The entrance to the Stackbrae housing development in Wanaka.
The homes are different shapes and sizes with varied materials to add variety.
The Stackbrae development seen from one of the laneways with its L-shaped houses that mirror one another on plan.
An aerial drone shot of the Stackbrae Housing development of 31 houses, both stand-alone and duplex, taken earlier in 2019 with a few remaining houses to be built or completed.
Angled timber cladding and deep, recessed windows provide shelter from the sun during the hot Otago summers.
Consistent landscaping has quickly bedded the development into the site.
Charred Abodo wood cladding provides a contrast to the cedar-clad homes.
A material palette of timber and concrete complement the surrounding mountains.
The timber cladding continues over this entrance, giving the home a seamless contemporary form.
This dining room features oak flooring and a feature wall in charcoal-coloured, fluted-concrete blockwork.
The mountain view from the dining and kitchen area in one of the standalone houses.
The open-plan kitchen, dining and living area opens up on all sides to the outdoors.
A differently configured kitchen and dining area in one of the other homes.
A typical bedroom.
Site plan – roof by Assembly Architects.
Site plan – floor by Assembly Architects.
A plan of a typical duplex dwelling, by Assembly Architects.
Elevations of a typical duplex dwelling by Assembly Architects.
A plan of a typical single dwelling, by Assembly Architects.
Elevations of a typical single dwelling at Stackbrae by Assembly Architects.

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Also from Assembly Architects

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Stackbrae: a new model for suburban housing

Stackbrae is an entire street of good-quality, architect-designed homes that are orientated to the sun and the views of the mountainous landscape around Wanaka. This award-winning development of 31 homes offers an alternative model for suburban housing.

Group-home design and build companies currently dominate the housing development market, with architects and architectural designers rarely influencing this slice of the pie. However, at Stackbrae, Arrowtown-based studio Assembly Architects and Wanaka-based developer Satomi Holdings did things a bit differently. They created a model that would create a more cohesive development, which halves the design and consenting time, as well as reducing the associated cost for the purchasers – ensuring that homes could be built without delay after settlement.  

“We adopted a different product/model than other housing developments in Wanaka, with the aim of improving and speeding up the process,” explains architect Justin Wright. “It was a good time in the market to do this,” says Justin. “In the past decade or so, a lot of new suburbs have arisen in the Wanaka area with no or little design controls, with some average design outcomes. Developments with design controls generally improve the design outcomes, but these create an expensive and slow process for buyers. Many people have been dissatisfied and our developer didn’t want that result – we wanted to raise the design standard and add some flexibility into the process.”

“At Stackbrae, we halved the time to get on site, compared with similar developments, which typically takes around six months to get through the initial process. This meant that buyers of homes at Stackbrae were able to purchase the land and start building on site within 16 weeks of signing up,” says Justin.

Long before the Stackbrae project began, Satomi Holiding’s Stuart Pinfold had commissioned Assembly Architects to design for him a rammed-earth house across the road from the site, where he realised that he wanted to create a more ‘design-influenced’ suburb nearby. Firstly, he gained resource consent to create the laneways on the land and, then, sought architects who would create a strong design outcome that would maximise sun, privacy, views and quality outdoor space.

The resulting 31 homes shares a consistent design language but each one varies little bit to create variety. House sizes and shapes differ, as does the orientation and material palette. Claddings come in timber, brick or masonry, or combinations of those. “They share similar elements but every house is unique to start with,” explains Justin. “Each is a little bit different than the others and these variations are also a good talking point within the Stackbrae community.”

The developer didn’t want to construct the actual buildings, so the land packages were sold with consented plans and a covenant to build.  “Half the houses were purchased by the residents and one of the builders liked it so much, he bought a land package and moved in,” remarks Justin. “The real estate agents were resistant to the model at first but, because the houses are efficient to build and consent process was smooth, and they were up and running quickly, they soon came around.”

The 2.5ha site has a low slope to the north, with great views to the east and west. The house designs are either stand-alone or duplex arrangements and are configured much like courtyard houses – with L-shaped plans and massing on the lot edges to draw sun into the middle of the sites – directly challenging the district plan setback rules.  The walls on the boundary have no windows and are rendered in durable materials to avoid fencing.

With efficiency in mind, Assembly has designed the houses with good thermal envelopes to reduce energy bills and to ensure comfort, and they utilise economical construction methods to keep the costs down. Whilst Stackbrae isn’t intended to be ‘affordable housing’ as such, this model places architect-designed homes at a more accessible price point than is typical.

The development comes complete with a landscaping guide with three different types of planting laid out in the plans. The landscaping is currently being completed but, unlike other developments, there are no empty lots left on the site. “The Stackbrae community is already up and running and is more established than some subdivisions that were started 10 years ago,” suggests Justin. “The residents have found that the quality of the houses is so much higher than what was expected and they are some of the happiest clients we’ve ever had.”

 

Quick stats

Location: Cardrona Valley Road, Wanaka

Developer: Satomi Holdings

Site size: 2.5 hectares, subdivided into 21 lots with 31 homes

Floor area: Varies from around 165m² to 245m²

_________________________________________________

Words by Justine Harvey.

Photography by Simon Devitt, unless specified.

 

AWARDS: NZIA Southern Architecture Award 2019 Multi-unit Housing

Visit professional's website
Enquire about the process / fees
Contact details
The entrance to the Stackbrae housing development in Wanaka.
The homes are different shapes and sizes with varied materials to add variety.
The Stackbrae development seen from one of the laneways with its L-shaped houses that mirror one another on plan.
An aerial drone shot of the Stackbrae Housing development of 31 houses, both stand-alone and duplex, taken earlier in 2019 with a few remaining houses to be built or completed.
Angled timber cladding and deep, recessed windows provide shelter from the sun during the hot Otago summers.
Consistent landscaping has quickly bedded the development into the site.
Charred Abodo wood cladding provides a contrast to the cedar-clad homes.
A material palette of timber and concrete complement the surrounding mountains.
The timber cladding continues over this entrance, giving the home a seamless contemporary form.
This dining room features oak flooring and a feature wall in charcoal-coloured, fluted-concrete blockwork.
The mountain view from the dining and kitchen area in one of the standalone houses.
The open-plan kitchen, dining and living area opens up on all sides to the outdoors.
A differently configured kitchen and dining area in one of the other homes.
A typical bedroom.
Site plan – roof by Assembly Architects.
Site plan – floor by Assembly Architects.
A plan of a typical duplex dwelling, by Assembly Architects.
Elevations of a typical duplex dwelling by Assembly Architects.
A plan of a typical single dwelling, by Assembly Architects.
Elevations of a typical single dwelling at Stackbrae by Assembly Architects.

Products in this project

Professionals used on this project

Also from Assembly Architects

Done tagging
Full screen

Stackbrae: a new model for suburban housing

Stackbrae is an entire street of good-quality, architect-designed homes that are orientated to the sun and the views of the mountainous landscape around Wanaka. This award-winning development of 31 homes offers an alternative model for suburban housing.

Group-home design and build companies currently dominate the housing development market, with architects and architectural designers rarely influencing this slice of the pie. However, at Stackbrae, Arrowtown-based studio Assembly Architects and Wanaka-based developer Satomi Holdings did things a bit differently. They created a model that would create a more cohesive development, which halves the design and consenting time, as well as reducing the associated cost for the purchasers – ensuring that homes could be built without delay after settlement.  

“We adopted a different product/model than other housing developments in Wanaka, with the aim of improving and speeding up the process,” explains architect Justin Wright. “It was a good time in the market to do this,” says Justin. “In the past decade or so, a lot of new suburbs have arisen in the Wanaka area with no or little design controls, with some average design outcomes. Developments with design controls generally improve the design outcomes, but these create an expensive and slow process for buyers. Many people have been dissatisfied and our developer didn’t want that result – we wanted to raise the design standard and add some flexibility into the process.”

“At Stackbrae, we halved the time to get on site, compared with similar developments, which typically takes around six months to get through the initial process. This meant that buyers of homes at Stackbrae were able to purchase the land and start building on site within 16 weeks of signing up,” says Justin.

Long before the Stackbrae project began, Satomi Holiding’s Stuart Pinfold had commissioned Assembly Architects to design for him a rammed-earth house across the road from the site, where he realised that he wanted to create a more ‘design-influenced’ suburb nearby. Firstly, he gained resource consent to create the laneways on the land and, then, sought architects who would create a strong design outcome that would maximise sun, privacy, views and quality outdoor space.

The resulting 31 homes shares a consistent design language but each one varies little bit to create variety. House sizes and shapes differ, as does the orientation and material palette. Claddings come in timber, brick or masonry, or combinations of those. “They share similar elements but every house is unique to start with,” explains Justin. “Each is a little bit different than the others and these variations are also a good talking point within the Stackbrae community.”

The developer didn’t want to construct the actual buildings, so the land packages were sold with consented plans and a covenant to build.  “Half the houses were purchased by the residents and one of the builders liked it so much, he bought a land package and moved in,” remarks Justin. “The real estate agents were resistant to the model at first but, because the houses are efficient to build and consent process was smooth, and they were up and running quickly, they soon came around.”

The 2.5ha site has a low slope to the north, with great views to the east and west. The house designs are either stand-alone or duplex arrangements and are configured much like courtyard houses – with L-shaped plans and massing on the lot edges to draw sun into the middle of the sites – directly challenging the district plan setback rules.  The walls on the boundary have no windows and are rendered in durable materials to avoid fencing.

With efficiency in mind, Assembly has designed the houses with good thermal envelopes to reduce energy bills and to ensure comfort, and they utilise economical construction methods to keep the costs down. Whilst Stackbrae isn’t intended to be ‘affordable housing’ as such, this model places architect-designed homes at a more accessible price point than is typical.

The development comes complete with a landscaping guide with three different types of planting laid out in the plans. The landscaping is currently being completed but, unlike other developments, there are no empty lots left on the site. “The Stackbrae community is already up and running and is more established than some subdivisions that were started 10 years ago,” suggests Justin. “The residents have found that the quality of the houses is so much higher than what was expected and they are some of the happiest clients we’ve ever had.”

 

Quick stats

Location: Cardrona Valley Road, Wanaka

Developer: Satomi Holdings

Site size: 2.5 hectares, subdivided into 21 lots with 31 homes

Floor area: Varies from around 165m² to 245m²

_________________________________________________

Words by Justine Harvey.

Photography by Simon Devitt, unless specified.

 

AWARDS: NZIA Southern Architecture Award 2019 Multi-unit Housing

Visit professional's website
Enquire about the process / fees
Contact details
The entrance to the Stackbrae housing development in Wanaka.
The homes are different shapes and sizes with varied materials to add variety.
The Stackbrae development seen from one of the laneways with its L-shaped houses that mirror one another on plan.
An aerial drone shot of the Stackbrae Housing development of 31 houses, both stand-alone and duplex, taken earlier in 2019 with a few remaining houses to be built or completed.
Angled timber cladding and deep, recessed windows provide shelter from the sun during the hot Otago summers.
Consistent landscaping has quickly bedded the development into the site.
Charred Abodo wood cladding provides a contrast to the cedar-clad homes.
A material palette of timber and concrete complement the surrounding mountains.
The timber cladding continues over this entrance, giving the home a seamless contemporary form.
This dining room features oak flooring and a feature wall in charcoal-coloured, fluted-concrete blockwork.
The mountain view from the dining and kitchen area in one of the standalone houses.
The open-plan kitchen, dining and living area opens up on all sides to the outdoors.
A differently configured kitchen and dining area in one of the other homes.
A typical bedroom.
Site plan – roof by Assembly Architects.
Site plan – floor by Assembly Architects.
A plan of a typical duplex dwelling, by Assembly Architects.
Elevations of a typical duplex dwelling by Assembly Architects.
A plan of a typical single dwelling, by Assembly Architects.
Elevations of a typical single dwelling at Stackbrae by Assembly Architects.
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