Wanaka Residence Two - McCoy Wixon Architects | ArchiPro

Wanaka Residence Two

Not all sites in Wanaka are lucky enough to have space and great views of both the mountains and the lake, so for a Dunedin couple originally based in central Otago, this was the perfect spot to build their retirement house.

Hamish Wixon of McCoy Wixon Architects was behind the home’s contemporary, modernist design. Hamish says, “The clients were both very interested in and supportive of great design and wanted a slightly different house. As one of the homeowners has a construction company background, they were well-informed about materials and building, which made the whole process very easy.”

The layout of the single-storey, three-winged home was heavily influenced by the clients’ desire for a house that could expand and contract according to the comings and goings of extended family, hence the installation of recessed cedar panels and sliding doors within the walls to section off varying parts of the home according to the different needs.

When the entire family is visiting, accommodation is provided for with a bunkroom for the grandchildren and a separate, self-contained bedroom and sitting room.

Sustainable living and the desire to have a very warm, solid home that will allow for comfortable living through the freezing Wanaka winters means that the house is triple glazed. Although you can find triple glazing in many new homes across the South Island today, when the home was built in 2011, this was quite unusual in New Zealand.

Keeping the entire house toasty warm is certainly not an issue, with the house featuring heat pump technology with hydraulic heating, a thermally broken slab, R7 insulation in the ceiling and a thermally broken aluminium suite on the exterior windows and doors. Hamish says, “The house is almost overly insulated, to the extent that on warmer days it borders on being too hot!”

Both the walled and internal courtyard provide shelter from the oft-windy Wanaka weather, and as the owner is a car enthusiast, there is direct access from the large garaging wing – home to several top-of-the-range models – to the internal courtyard.

The large pool area is also sheltered from any unpleasant wind by large stone walls made of central Otago schist, which reflect the local vernacular, while a mix of aggregate paving and tiling creates patterned borders around the exterior areas of the home.

Cladding materials include a mix of local stone, cedar and aluminium. “The aluminium batten cap panels were chosen for their longevity and low-sheen properties, so the house would merge into the surrounding landscape without too much reflection,” says Hamish. Hermpac cedar weatherboards have been utilised as a third material to bring in warm tones and to create a lovely contrast between the natural environment and a more manmade, modern aesthetic.

This large home capitalises on its incredible views at all angles and the possibility to make the most of outdoor living year-round with its many sheltered outdoor spaces. Its flexibility, in terms of the ability to open and close spaces as needed, means that this comfortable house will never feel too large for the couple, nor be too cramped when hosting friends and family.

Written by ArchiPro editorial desk.

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