Crowned in 2019 as New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Large Town, Cambridge, in the Waipa District of the Waikato, has long been admired for its lush pastureland and tree-lined streets. Just one of the reasons why the town has been experiencing an increase in population for more than a decade as people are drawn to its bucolic surroundings.
“This beautiful rural home, set in idyllic horse country, has a sophisticated lodge aesthetic,” says Aaron Guerin, Director and Lead Designer of LAD Architecture. “The clients had a clear direction in regard to what they were hoping to achieve—a highly detailed, high-spec home with an effortless floor plan and indoor-outdoor flow—and were an absolute pleasure to work with.”
“The dining booth adjacent to the kitchen area was certainly a ‘big must have’, as was an elevated formal dining area with views over the landscaped pond and connection to the pool area. A ‘snug’ to escape to and enjoy some quiet time rounded out the living areas, while high on the list was a master suite—separated from the other bedrooms—that had its own access to the pool area and included an impressive walk-in robe and beautifully crafted ensuite. Externally, a covered walkway connecting the garage to the main house needed to be incorporated into the scheme.”
Situated on a level, two-acre section, bounded by mature London plane trees, Aaron says the only constraint was a minimum floor level. “This actually had a positive effect on the design as the house now sits elevated and proud within its surroundings.”
The house has been designed with a large, light and airy central living hub, which enjoys strong connections to numerous outdoor entertaining spaces including a morning breakfast patio adjacent to the kitchen and a covered out-door space adjacent to the formal dining area for al fresco dining.
The homeowners, who are originally from Wales, have an affinity for the Queenstown aesthetic as they visit this area regularly on skiing and tramping trips, so wanted to bring some of those elements back to Cambridge.
“They were very keen to incorporate stone and cedar into the material palette and I was only too happy to oblige as I love the juxtaposition the two materials bring to a design scheme. Coppery elements then round out the exterior material palette.
“Again, the clients had very clear ideas in regard to the interiors. It was important the property had a homely feel and this was driven by the use of the texture, colours and the use of extensive american oak timbers throughout. Layering of these elements was used to create interest and a homely, welcoming feel.
“The lighting scheme—all of the lights are LED—was pared back as much as possible to allow the material palette to come to the fore, with just a few statement pendants incorporated into the scheme for additional dramatic effect.”
“Another important aspect of the design was to make the home multigenerational,” says Aaron. “To this end, a fully serviced, one-bedroom unit was integrated into the garage pavilion, which could be used to accommodate parents in their later years and/or used as a teenager’s retreat in the meantime.
“There are so many stand out features to this property. The proportionality of the home just works, it has an understated grandeur and a completely timeless feel which we absolutely love. Individual elements such as the cedar weatherboards and bagged stone cladding, along with the dining booth and the raised formal dining area add distinctive touches to the scheme, contributing to the home’s undeniable presence.
“By working closely with the builder and client throughout the process—to ensure the home was completed within acceptable timeframes and to a very high standard—we feel the finished result speaks for itself.”
Words by Justin Foote
Photography by Locus Creative
At LAD we love that great architecture changes peoples lives. Our award winning practice was established in 2007 through a desire to create beautiful architecture that is responsive to context, budget & brief.
At LAD we adopt a collaborative approach to every project, working closely with our clients to create architecture that enriches their lives.
Our design studio's are located in the heart of the vibrant towns of Cambridge (Waikato) & Waihi Beach (Bay of Plenty).
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