Wendy and Dave Hendl's new home on their boutique Awhitu winery overlooking the Manukau Harbour has delivered much more than they ever envisaged.
They say it's changed their way of living, creating a lifestyle with a very different feel.
"When we decided to build we told the architect it would be most of the time just the two of us but we needed allowance to accommodate groups at harvest time and that sort of thing," Wendy says.
What has been created is a contemporary build that accommodates six and by using fold down beds can sleep many more.
"We were not specific about materials, Marsh (architect Marshall Cook) knows what's available and his specialty is marrying textures," she adds.
The build exemplifies those skills. Locally manufactured brick from Ngaruawhia and Port Waikato stone is worked with timber. A stone wall runs the length of the structure creating the entire back wall of the living room, delineating the area from the sleeping quarters.
The build is over two levels with a basement for the winery creating a third lower level. The bedrooms overlook the vineyard and out to the Manukau Harbour, with views stretching to the lights of Auckland, enjoyed from individual verandas. Wendy says these decks provide views and peaceful seclusion "which is beyond what we expected".
A resin multi-cell wall at the back of the bedrooms creates a heat sink, refracting the light to give a colourful, airy and open feel to the bedrooms. Louvres ensure excellent airflow.
The large fireplace in the living area is enjoyed through the winter months and the underfloor heating has never been needed thanks to the quality of insulation and passive heat gain.
For retirees Dave, (he describes himself as a dinosaur of the computer world) and Wendy, formerly a teacher, the boutique winery is a new and fun challenge. It's a lifestyle, with cellar door wine sales throughout the year and wine tastings.
Architect Marshall Cook says the house stays true to its original intention - it was designed to be a home, not a billboard for the winery.
"The building is the heart of vineyard production, operating both as the domestic base for the owner and a meeting point for the harvest team who are mostly family and friends. It serves as a hostel and dining place during the seasonal demand of the vines and a peaceful retreat in the less busy times."
BUILD COST: Approx. $2 million.
ARCHITECT: Cook Sargisson & Pirie Architects Ltd.
SIZE: Approx 230 sq metres + decks and patio areas.
MATERIALS: Locally sourced Port Waikato limestone and Ngaruawhia bricks, timber joinery and Port Oxford Cedar. The interior linings are primarily New Zealand rimu ply, with rimu in the kitchen.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Easy to live in. The bedrooms are very cosy with the stairwell cladding capturing the late afternoon sun. The living area retains warmth from the day with the stone wall and marble floor acting as heat sinks, and the open fire creates comfort and ambience on the coldest evenings. We have never used the underfloor heating. An area of the roof is set up for solar capture and no doubt we will commission that at some point.
DONE RIGHT: We had faith in Marshall to produce something that we would love and we did not place design restrictions upon him. We had established just a couple of points in preparatory discussion and then left him to it. The use of local materials provides a sense of place - particularly the stone wall which seems to anchor the whole construction. The builder and the subcontractors appeared to have genuine pride in what they were creating and they all demonstrated high level skills in their particular fields.
DONE WRONG: We over-ran budget, which is somewhat stressful - and that was mainly due to our final selections of materials - which we would not change.
UNEXPECTED: While Marshall explained the concepts of space/materials/dimensions and we witnessed things evolving during construction, it was only when we started living in our house that we really understood what he had created. Some of the upstairs windows capture/enclose views which are a bonus. The ease of inside/outside flow at ground-level exceeded what we envisaged from the plans
RECOMMEND: Know or get to know the architect and communicate your ideas/likes/dislikes in simple terms - then trust his judgment regarding builders, subcontractors, materials, spaces, volumes and so on.
NEXT TIME: We feel privileged to live here and do not envisage any more builds.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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