Oli Booth Architecture 5 Lake Rotoroa

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Oli Booth
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Adam Locke

Located on the southern edge of Lake Rotoroa this home was designed to sit gently above the wetlands on the lake’s margin.

A series of pavilions stagger towards the lake's edge, containing the core functions of the home and punctuated by a central courtyard garden. A central passageway stitches the pavilions together offering a consistent sight line through the home, to the lake beyond. The edges of the home cantilever above the garden, accentuating the relationship of the built form to the natural landscape in which it sits. Low planting references the heights seen on the perimeter of the lake’s edge and help to make the property, and adjacent lake margins feel part of an uninterrupted whole.

Vaulted ceilings throughout the home are timber lined, to bring a sense of warmth and calm to the living spaces. These extend outside, in an effort to the limit the material palette and focus more on the setting in which it is placed.

A steel clad core anchors the rear of the living pavilion. Extending to the top of the vaulted ceiling, it contains the kitchen scullery and back of house essentials. A hidden door allows this space to be closed off and read as a consistent whole when not in use, while 2 voids punctuate the sides to also give glimpses into the courtyard and gardens beyond. A wood fire is clad in the same mild steel, acting as a secondary anchor to the scullery in the vaulted living space.

The living pavilion is stepped down to emphasise the close relationship to the lake’s edge. The height of the living area is set to make you feel as though you are in amongst the reeds surrounding the lake front. This step allows an opportunity for dining seating to be built in, doubling as an entertainment unit for the living area behind.

Inset windows puncture the exterior of the home, providing relief along the length of the facades. These elements help to accentuate the cantilever below and also provide recesses for the cedar privacy screens in front of the bathroom spaces. The vertical shiplap exterior is referenced in the timber screening, with wider spacings to let filtered light into the spaces beyond. This consistency and rhythm is also referenced in the overhead screens in front of the master bedroom, helping to dapple afternoon light into spaces behind.

Concealed guttering helps to further emphasise the simplicity of the hovering forms, limiting the exterior palette, to the vertical lines provided in the cladding, screening and roofing.

The master suite captures morning light through a large apex skylight, located over the ensuite. Lightly tiled, the textured surface softens light as it enters the home.

The central courtyard garden is one such place that visually anchors the home and draws an inward focus. This provides a seasonal artwork of colour and life, while also serving a functional purpose to offer a space of relief from the prevailing winds and public view in the hot summer months.