Three bedrooms and a view of the Southern Alps that pulls the eye endlessly into the horizon — that’s the defining essence of the Wanaka Wedge House, located on New Zealand’s South Island. Yet there is much more to this build than the expansive surrounding landscape.
From the outside, the striking architecture highlights geometric elements in its triangular wedge shape and asymmetric windows. The exterior is clad in corrugated metal to match typical contemporary New Zealand architecture. All colors were planned in accordance to limits on albedo and hue. In contrast, the interior is wrapped in custom-milled, locally farmed eucalyptus on portions of the floors, walls and ceilings. Other walls are kept white to create a backdrop for the clients’ art collection.
The homeowners were highly involved in the details of the design, seeing it as a sanctuary from a lifestyle of international travel as accomplished musicians. Over a glass of local wine and dinner, the couple can take in the dramatic mountain views in the distance. Native grasses and plants directly outside the Wanaka Wedge House were chosen to restore the prior sheep farm into a natural landscape.
Each material and system in the home was chosen with sustainability in mind. The architects at Actual Architecture relied on local craftspeople wherever possible. According to a press release, the “walls are comprised of a super insulated wood frame structure of LVL lumber to avoid the energy intensive importation of materials.”
Ultra-efficient radiant flooring keeps the polished concrete warm in the winter, and the upper floor features radiant heat between the joists. Natural lighting and cross ventilation occurs with windows located across from each other, while the house fan pulls cool air from the courtyard below and allows it to escape at the high point of the wedge. Actual Architecture reported that the “thermal performance exceeds New Zealand standards for a single family house.”
The Wanaka Wedge House is actually not an original design but rather a prototype meant to be adjusted for different needs and building sites (and is available for purchase). While the prototype design saved the owners money, it is modifiable enough to make the space feel uniquely their own.
Images via Actual Architecture