Mt Iron. Wanaka
On the northwest face of Mt Iron, the Warburton Residence floats out above the kanuka tree canopy. Stunning 270° views of the Upper Clutha Basin immerse the spaces within. The residence’s dynamic composition was strongly informed by its site, wrapping around the natural contours of the steep terrain. As a forward thinking design for its ageing occupants, an accessible single level is achieved from the entry through to living spaces and the master suite. Large sliding doors in the living spaces provide flexibility in use, creating a sense of openness or enclosure during the seasonal extremes of the Central Otago climate. 100m² of decks extend the living space into the exterior, giving the home a tree house quality.
The design is based on the value of simplicity, utilising basic construction techniques to minimise waste, and embodying the four essential principles of a passive solar home; sun, mass, insulation and ventilation. Extensive thermal mass is created with concrete floors and masonry walls, all of which are externally wrapped with 100mm of insulation to prevent heat loss. High level opening windows and low level cedar louvers use natural circulation to flush out excess summer heat, with arrays of solar tubes providing the majority of hot water for the house.