Living in rooms full of light

The living pavilion of the Cromwell home is bathed in sunshine.
The living pavilion of the Cromwell home is bathed in sunshine.
The living pavilion sits at an angle to the bedroom wing. Photos by Graham Warman.
The living pavilion sits at an angle to the bedroom wing. Photos by Graham Warman.
The Gyrofocus fireplace, created in France in the 1960s, is a design classic.
The Gyrofocus fireplace, created in France in the 1960s, is a design classic.
Timber accoustic ceiling panels offset the ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen.
Timber accoustic ceiling panels offset the ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen.
The river stone used on the exterior continues inside. Photos by Graham Warman.
The river stone used on the exterior continues inside. Photos by Graham Warman.

Glazed on three sides, this home near Cromwell has an open, relaxed feel and is full of natural light.

Built on a large site adjoining Lake Dunstan at Northburn Point, the house offers good views over the water to the surrounding hills.

The owners had lived in a cottage on the section for some time but had outgrown this and wanted to build a spacious, modern home in its place.

The kitchen and living areas are at the north end of the house to gain maximum outlook and all-day sun.

Setting the living pavilion at an angle from the bedroom wing broke up the roof shape and ensured all the living spaces got good sun.

The mono-pitch roof slopes up towards the southeast to get a view of the hills and to ensure that morning sun can enter the living area, but lowers towards the west to cut out some of the harsh sunlight from that direction.

In the living space, a veneered, slotted acoustic ceiling offsets harder materials such as tiled floors and large expanses of glass.

Another feature here is the suspended open fireplace, which the owners bought on one of their regular trips to France.

The couple were keen to create a sustainable house, installing a wood-pellet boiler to provide hot water for underfloor heating.

An outdoor area behind the home provides shelter from summer wind, a factor that architects McCoy and Wixon say is often neglected. A sliding panel, with bench below, connects the kitchen with this outdoor area, making it ideal for year-round entertaining. Because the owners had lived here for some time, landscaping was already established.

Exterior materials include plastered thermomass concrete panels, stonework and cedar.

The thermomass panels have polystyrene encapsulated within two layers of concrete, giving significant thermal mass inside the home and good insulation.

The painted panels and stonework are also used inside the house, which was a winner in the recent Southern Architecture Awards.


THE SPECS
Floor area: 238sq m.
Bedrooms: Three.
Bathrooms: Two.
Exterior: Precast concrete thermomass panels, river-stone veneer and cedar weatherboards.
Interior: River stone wall at the entry. Timber acoustic ceiling panels in the living area.
Heating: Piped hot water underfloor central heating system, including a pellet boiler and solar panels. Gyrofocus suspended fireplace.
Architects: McCoy and Wixon, Dunedin.
Builder: Don Colling, Cromwell.


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