Lake Karapiro's Fortress

Taking out the Residential New Home over 300m2 title at the 2020 ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards, ‘Karapiro Lake House’ designed by Lee Turner of Turner Road Architecture, is a sprawling home overlooking Lake Karapiro in the foothills of Maungatautari Mountain in Cambridge.

With his clients wanting to achieve a tranquil, peaceful home that embraced the dramatic water views while also being sympathetic to its scenic surroundings, Lee utilised raw textures and materials and a natural colour palette to reflect the hillside backdrop and provide minimal visual disruption to its lakeside environment.

Designed to optimise the North facing views, and running parallel to Lake Karapiro, the home compromises of three main areas, a guest wing at one end, open plan living/dining area in the centre, and master bedroom suite at the opposite end. Great care was used to ensure seamless flow from one area to the next, while also creating a natural divisions to allow for privacy.

Lee ensured  sustainable practices were used throughout the design. From large north facing glass panes to soak in the stunning views as well as the valuable sun during Winter months, to the highly insulated concrete slab, walls and ceilings, and passive ventilation from carefully positioned cedar louvres, windows and doors.

Judges said the drama of the home is all in the entry elevation.

“The entry is a long wall of heavy fair-faced precast concrete panels, broken by a horizontal band of glazing and band-sawn cedar slats, and punctured by a filigree steel gate that allows glimpses into the patio behind. The effect is of a beautifully proportioned fortress, with a narrow slot to observe those arriving. The front door is positioned between this main façade and a parallel concrete wall. The ‘fortified’ effect is intensified by the entry, which requires slipping in sideways between these two walls,” said the judging panel.

Photography by Amanda Aitken.