Threefold Architecture 2 Bannockburn House

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Bryce Monk
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Bryce Monk
  • Client
    Cathy and Mark Christie

A sense of home can mean different things to people. For Cathy and Mark this meant the rocky hillside of Bannockburn with its unique stone & tussock hillside landscape, dry conditions, connections to the Kawarau & Clutha Rivers, and rich history in gold mining. After living in Auckland for ten years, the couple were ready to return home to breathe the fresh Central Otago air.

The selected site seemed appropriate being only a stone’s throw from where the family were for 18yrs before their stint in Auckland. Overlooking local vineyards and orchards, it ticked all their boxes for an ideal place to retire. A space of luxury, for playing music and somewhere to relax in the company of loved ones was the brief given to the designers.

More and more, the site became a significant driver for the project. A pre-approved building platform was extended to better utilise natural daylight and to connect living spaces to important views. Two pavilions skewed on separate axis meet the changing site contours, are connected by a framed entry. A large gallery space greets guests before passing through to living space where a long wall of glazing frames views out towards the Kawarau River and plains beyond. A music room acts as a buffer space between the living space and master bedroom and all interior walls are lined with acoustic insulation so other spaces in the house can operate independently.

Local stone from Tarras was selected to suit the surrounding natural stone landscape after it was deemed the stone sourced from site was too soft to use as a cladding. Precast concrete panels were supplied by a local supplier and designed carefully to ensure local crane equipment could be utilised within the restricted site access and limited platform space. Concrete block, precast concrete, heated concrete floors, timber ceilings and bespoke timber joinery were incorporated to complete the building and meet the practical needs for this home.

The new home also considered accessibility, with the ability to become fully accessible in the future. The design response delivered a single level building with level thresholds, both inside and out. Circulation and bathroom spaces are generous in size and the kitchen was designed to be open plan with the ability to be modified in future. The finer details were also considered with solid blocking added within the wall framing to allow for handrails to be installed.

The house is serviced by rainwater tanks and photovoltaic cells which were later fitted with batteries to better utilise the solar energy harnessed which supplied enough power to avoid any electricity bills last summer. This was further made possible by the high R-values on insulation throughout the exterior walls.

The documentation involved extensive modelling of timber framing, pre-cast, steel structure and services which lead to a seamless process on site that daughter Lauren project managed. With a successfully completed home Cathy and Mark are now able to relax and enjoy their homeland.