This modern and striking home of corrugated steel is located on an isolated ridge facing the Southern Alps on New Zealand’s South Island. Shaped like a giant wedge, the three bedroom house is a prototype that was an initial design collaboration by the then firm of Min | Day (now Jeffrey L. Day of Nebraska’s Actual Architecture Co. and E.B Min, founder and principal of Min Design Co).
Wanaka Wedge House
The 3-bedroom Wanaka Wedge House complements the dramatic Central Otago landscape. The geometric-primitive exterior form belies a complex and playful interior. Asymmetric window placement contrasts the simple shape of the house to respond to views and specific proportions of the interior spaces.
The exterior of the main house ‘wedge’ is clad in dark gray, corrugated metal panels echoing the contemporary New Zealand vernacular.
The contrasting cube of the garage and wine cellar is clad in light gray metal with a matching roof membrane. Both colors had to pass strict planning and design guidelines specifying limits on albedo and hue.
On the interior, a surface of custom-milled, locally-farmed Eucalyptus wraps certain floors, walls, and ceilings to thematically separate public and private spaces and lend warmth and dimension to the interior.
Sliding panels, blind doors and concealed hardware afford unexpected interior connections.
White walls highlight a contemporary art collection and materials meet with simple reveals.
Some people in New Zealand may recognize the home from its prominent appearance on the fifth season of the weekly home design show , Grand Designs New Zealand in August 2019. The show can be viewed here on Youtube
Materials and systems were selected to meet sustainability targets and to satisfy design goals highlighting local finishes and craftspeople. The architects replaced the SIP walls of the prototype with a super-insulated wood-frame structure of LVL lumber to avoid the energy intensive importation of materials. The polished concrete thermal-mass ground floor (featuring local river-stone aggregate) is heated in the winter with an efficient hydronic radiant system. The wood-framed upper floor also includes radiant heat between joists. Windows on opposite sides of the narrow house afford natural ventilation during most days while a whole-house fan at the very top of the “wedge” can evacuate heat and pull cool air from the shaded bottom courtyard. Thermal performance exceeds New Zealand standards for a single-family house.
Location: Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand
Area: 2575 s.f.
Architects: The Wedge House is a prototype that was originally designed by Min/Day (Jeff L. Day and E.B. Min of Min Design Co.) to be adjusted for different sites, originating with a site on the coast of Maine. Plans for the Wedge House may be purchased from Actual Architecture Co.
Construction Documents: Ian Perry, Architectural Designer, I Design, Oamaru, NZ
Building Engineer: Richards Consulting Engineers, Christchurch, NZ
General Contractor: Matthew Colebrook, Colebrook & Co. Ltd., Wanaka, NZ
Wood supplier: John Fairweather Specialty Timber Solutions, Sefton, NZ
Beautiful Photos courtesy of Dennis Radermacher for Lightforge
Information courtesy of Actual Architecture Company
You can find a 360 degree virtual tour of the home here