Condon Scott Architects 5 Bendigo Terrace

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Barry Condon

Seeking to create a permanent home on their vineyard site, the client’s brief for Condon Scott Architects called for a minimal form that capitalised on the panoramic views towards the Pisa Range and Lake Dunstan. They were looking for a design that could bring all day sunlight into the living spaces, whilst taking advantage of the expansive Central Otago views. The design was to have a very clean and uncluttered feel.

This brief was distilled down to a floor plane and a roof plane, with fully glazed walls between to frame the view. The idea was to create an open pavilion that appeared to almost float over the rocky site, fully glazed and open at either end so the occupants can look up and down the valley in its entirety as a panorama.

The site is often subject to strong winds, especially during spring. To address this, the layout of the single storey home is a H shaped configuration, creating an arrangement of sheltered terraces and courtyards providing plenty of options for outdoor living where the clients can retreat from the wind or sun, depending on the time of day and year. The H shaped layout also ensures the primary living spaces and master bedroom suite look out to the views.

The exterior material palette has been kept to a minimum, in-line with the clients brief for an uncluttered finish. The concrete ground floor plane and metal roof plane were chosen for their clean, contemporary finishes. The exterior walls are clad in vertical light-stained cedar and schist stone, selected for their texture and warmth. All schist used in the project was sourced locally and ties the building to the adjacent rocky schist gully. The use of this regional stone is an important cultural element connecting the building to the environment and regional history.

Internally, there are a series of pods containing the services; bathroom, wine cellar, scullery, wardrobes and storage. These pods are set back from the glazing line creating a corridor. Windows and internal doors retract into the walls emphasising the minimal aesthetic, connecting the interior spaces to the landscape and vines beyond.

A rigorous design approach was taken to ensure the home performs well in the Otago climate, ensuring a comfortable interior environment for its occupants. Passive solar design, maximising solar gain in the winter and minimizing it in the summer, was a priority.
The roof plane is cantilevered 1m beyond the ground floor to deflect the sun’s intensity, while allowing sunlight into the home during winter, where heat is absorbed by the building’s thermal mass.