Text description provided by the architects. The brief was to create a robust home for a young family capitalising on the stunning views over Lake Hawea to the mountains beyond.
The house is located on a north facing section on the shores of Lake Hawea in the South Island of New Zealand
The site rises eight metres from a broad street frontage to an elevated narrow point at the rear.
The design uses the topography of the site to create a split level configuration with garage at ground floor level, the main living spaces at a half level higher and the guest bedroom spaces a half level higher again positioned over the garage space.
These levels are linked by short flights of steps, giving a barely noticable transition. The entry approach is a series of steps and landings guiding the visitor up to the entry foyer without the sense of ascending a flight of stairs.
The crank in the plan form provides some privacy to the front deck from the western neighbour. This provides an interplay between the two wings and allows opportunities for curved elements at the junction point. This in turn creates a sense of drama in the entry foyer with a curved cedar wall leading guests into the living space. The vertical timber elements on the bedroom wing provide privacy from the living space and help to break up the two storey volume of the garage/bedroom wing.
Lake Hawea is known for its wind so the creation of a series of outdoor spaces and a sheltered rear courtyard was essential. This courtyard opens off the living room and offers views to the lake beyond. The dark ribbed cladding and the large aperture through to the lake is reminescent of the bellows and view finder of an old camera. An appropriate metaphor in this timeless kiwi holiday destination.