Wanaka practice triumphant again
Winning this year’s prestigious New Zealand Institute Of Architects Southern Architecture Award for the design of family home, Halliday House, is a milestone achievement for Eliška Lewis Architects.
The boutique Wanaka-based practice had previously won the award in 2017 for a large-scale residential project called ‘The Dacha’—Russian for ’Home away from home’.
“These occasions rarely come up,” reflects Managing Director Eliška Lewis. “You’re up against entrants throughout the southern region and to reach that regional stage twice is fantastic.”
Specialising in residential projects with complex resource consent applications, the practice’s design philosophy is to develop well-crafted innovative projects with an emphasis on sustainability.
“We have an important role to educate our clients how to achieve projects that are a benchmark for balancing the energy resources needed to maintain comfort in large scale homes.”
Having lived and worked in Wanaka for over 20 years and watched it grow, Eliška is passionate about providing her clients with an excellent design experience, working closely with them to create a home that completely suits their day-to-day living.
“One of my favourite parts of a project is being on the construction site. There’s so much to be gained and learned from working with builders, seeing what is going great and what isn’t.”
Accessed from a culdesac in Wanaka, the Halliday House site has neighbouring properties to the south, east, and north, while blessed with stunning lake and mountain views to the west.
Eliška says her clients wanted to maximise the number of rooms with lake views, provide flow through the house suitable for a young family and provide shelter for changing weather.
Privacy from the road and neighbouring properties was also important.
“The clients brief described a house with a timeless look and an emphasis on timber and natural stone. They wanted a house with personality throughout the interior. Everything has a place in the house with its use carefully thought through. They also called for uncompromising thermal performance of the building envelope.”
The architectural concept to meet the budget was a reduced building footprint and to keep the form simple overall, allowing more funds for thermal performance and seamless detailing for the interior fit-out and finishing.
Spaces were designed to be flexible so that when guest areas were not in use they became multi-purpose rooms with concealed furniture.
From the street the house is mostly solid walls, providing privacy and concealing a detailed interior.
Invited in through the solid street facing facade, guests enter light-filled spaces arranged around an interior courtyard and a covered outdoor room linking to a separate retreat wing.
“Rooms look through other rooms to capture views beyond. Corner openings, surface sliders, and pocket sliding doors re-shape rooms to extend their boundaries.”
A central interior courtyard with two glass walls with corner opening doors is a light-well transforming south facing rooms into areas bathed in sun and light.
Passive ventilation through interior courtyards and flow through openings away from prevailing west winds allow fresh air in the warm months.
During the winter when internal air moisture is high and windows open less often, good indoor air quality is achieved with a heat recovery ventilation system.
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