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This rock-solid home near Queenstown was designed to last for more than a hundred years.
More than 200 tonnes of stone quarried from the site was used in the home’s cladding, access road and retaining walls.
A massive rock, weighing nearly 20 tonnes, greets visitors at the entry, while a 15-tonne stone is used to hem in the outdoor area to the north.
Te Toka (The Rock) was named supreme house of the year and the best new home over $2million at the Master Builders’ House of the Year southern regional awards. It was also recognised for its craftsmanship, sustainability, bathrooms, and interior design.
Designed by Rafe Maclean Architects, the home sits on 4.8ha of land above Lake Wakatipu and is used as a part-time residence by its international owners.
"It was just as much about building something that was going to last, as creating something beautiful."
Spread over 820sqm, the property includes a "great room", four en suite bedrooms, a gym and an indoor-outdoor room with an open fire.
Serving as a family hub, the "great room" has space for dining, socialising at the pool table and lounging in front of television. Coffered and recessed ceilings made of engineered European oak create zones within this large space and hide access to air conditioning units located above the ceiling.
An expanse of glass, 3m tall and nearly 10m long, offers stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and Cecil Peak.
The property was modelled in the same way as a passive house, with 60cm external walls providing significant thermal performance and earthquake resilience. Triple-glazing and spruce window frames were used throughout, and the internal insulation is wool.
A 25kW solar array feeds a 20kWh battery bank and in an average year, the property generates nearly the same amount of energy that it consumes, Dowling says. With its own generator, water supply and stormwater treatment, it can also be completely self-sufficient.
Air-to-water heat pump hot water, and underfloor heating.
Two air ventilation systems.
Triple-glazed timber joinery.
Roof designed to resist winds of more than 200kmh.
The structural slab is topped with 80cm of extruded polystyrene foam, then 50cm of high-strength, self-levelling concrete.
External and internal walls are concrete, encased in polystyrene, with insulation up to 23.4cm thick.
Earthquake resistance sits just below public structure values.
Private well and water reservoir, with the ability to pump water from the wetlands into the holding tank and condition it.
Back-up diesel generator, with 4000 litres of on-site diesel storage.
The thermally treated New Zealand pine used on the exterior has a seven-year maintenance cycle.
The 250sqm of decking is made from recycled plastic.
Septic waste is aerated and filtered, with the water returned to the soil.
Stormwater is collected in a wetlands area after being filtered through a grass swale.