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New England meets De Stijl in lakeside Wanaka home

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This holiday home, designed for two friends from very different backgrounds, is a coming together of two styles

One of the challenges was to design a modern suburban home that embodied a local aesthetic Discover this article's resources 0


Designed by Tony Koia

This holiday home, located in the centre of Wanaka, was designed for two good friends to share. Both in their 50s, but from different parts of the world (Virginia and Holland) they met travelling and love this popular lakeside settlement.It is the first house on a new subdivision, and therefore the owners had their pick of the sites – a corner location, with great views of the lake from the upper storey.

It was this view that ultimately determined the home’s design, with the architect placing the living area and master bedroom on the first floor at the front of the house – both with balconies facing the lake.

Rethinking the living area

Because most of the living is done upstairs, the home required a large, functional outdoor area on that level. The architect’s response was to provide a generous covered terrace, with operable louvres and an outdoor gas fire, so it could be used year round. The result is an attractive place to spend time, with a great connection to the outdoors and views out to the lake. One of the challenges was to design a modern suburban home that embodied a local aesthetic – something that reflected the natural beauty of the area.


The home’s site also required a strong street presence. The architect delivered on both challenges by cladding the majority of house in horizontal cedar battens, and anchoring the prominent corner of the building with a freestanding chimney stack, clad in local schist.

The garage is finished in corrugated iron, and design details, such as the window frames, flashing and chimney caps are in black metal.The generous floor plan comprises two living areas, with associated outdoor terraces (one upstairs, one down), four bedrooms (two upstairs, two down), three bathrooms, and a double garage with internal access.

First published date: 10 April 2017

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Designer Tony Koia