Cornege-Preston House / Bonnifait + Giesen

  • 08 Feb 2013
  • Houses Selected Works
© Paul McCredie

Architects: Bonnifait + Giesen
Location: Martinborough, Wellington,
Main Contractor: Borman Builders
Structural Engineer: Spencer Holmes Engineers
Property Owners: Anne Cornege, Ted Preston
Area: 200 sqm
Photographs: Paul McCredie

© Paul McCredie

The building sits on a one-hectare site of undulating grassland in the town of Martinborough in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand.  As part of the project 400 trees were planted in a grid that parallels the site’s boundaries while the 40m x 6m house is angled to follow the gentle undulations of the land. The “landscape grid” enters into the house in the form of decks/garage and courtyards which punctuate the volume. The long façade faces northwest for maximum exposure to winter afternoon sun and, consequently, best passive solar-energy gains.

© Paul McCredie

The key features are…
- Concrete floor and wall construction, with a ‘heat-sink’ (Trombe) wall between the main living area and the guest rooms.
- Water heating by solar Hot water panel on roof topped up by thermostat-controlled electricity.
- Multi-zone underfloor heating (also by thermostat-controlled electricity).
- Double-glazed windows and skylights for cross-room solar penetration and heat retention, with louvres and sliding doors for natural ventilation.
- Wall and ceiling insulation of Wool.
- Seperate Guest Wing with 2 ensuited double bedrooms.
- Views to the surrounding landscape from every room.
- Sustainably harvested macracarpa pine external cladding/decking and Italian poplar ceiling linings for visual warmth and acoustic absorption.
- Two 25,000 litre tanks capturing rainwater (meaning that town supply water usage is about one third of the metered allowance).
- A separately filtered (0.5 micron) and fast-heating water supply in the kitchen.

Cite: "Cornege-Preston House / Bonnifait + Giesen" 08 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>