House Of The Week
A rectangular house with artful indentations sits atop an undulating paddock in the midst of Martinborough. Grass abuts the build and the surrounding landscape is uncluttered bar a coppice of silver birches - 200 in total - that shed their leaves in autumn, creating a delightfully sculpture look.
This is the home of Anne Cornege and Ted Preston and it lies within an arm's length of their favourite past-times.
For Anne, horse-riding along the wild Wairarapa coast with friends and for Ted, music with like-minded souls and the Martinborough Jazz festival.
The house is the design style of Atelierworkshop’s Cecile Bonnifait and William Giesen, a structure in which space connects to the outside. In fact the 40 metre long, six metre wide build is mainly just one room deep, so every room opens to the outside, complete with pastoral views.
The owners were interested in making their home eco-friendly, and Anne was particularly passionate about concrete which determined the selection of Atelierworkshop due to the company’s expertise in concrete use. The concrete trombe wall acts as a thermal sink, with heat dissipating throughout the structure, creating an ambient temperature year round. Anne and Ted rarely use their underfloor heating, such is the efficiency of thermal retention.
Seven decks and macrocarpa slats provide protected outdoor options, and the interior cavity sliders and louvres give options for airflow in summer.
“We wanted an eco-friendly house (although we're not eco-warriors, it just makes sense to use technology and design to maximise efficiency), and it was one of the attributes for which Atelier was recommended.”
Add to that the flair for colour that Bonnifait + Giesen brought to the mix, and the Martinborough ‘Long House’ reflects the artistic talents of both the owners, and the architects. A palette of neutrals - Resene Soapstone and White - throughout the interior is interrupted by feature walls of colour - Sunburst (orange), Supernova (Ted’s favourite yellow), Scarlet, Armadillo (charcoal) and Wasabi (olive lime green).
“The house isn't perfect, but it’s pretty close.
“For example every now and then I think the 40 metre trek would be less in a more compact house, but then that length gives space and privacy to visitors in the guest rooms - so I can't have it both ways.
“The length also means that the house is mostly one room wide so every room has a deck and an open view of the surroundings.”
Build Cost: Under $1m
Architect: Giesen+Bonnifait (Atelierworkshop)
Size: House 203 sq.m, Garage 48 sq.m, decking 65 sq. m.
Builder: D.R.Borman Ltd, Masterton
Materials: Concrete, butynol roof, gibbed interiors, Italian poplar plywood above the picture line, macrocarpa external cladding, slats and decking.
Energy efficiency: Wool insulated walls and ceiling, double glazing, solar panel for hot water, thermostatically controlled electric backup, Jetmaster solid fuel fire, concrete, trombe wall
Done Right: The clever visual, yet functional wall.
Done Wrong: Not ‘wrong’ but ‘should’ve’. “We should’ve carried on with the idea of the windmill generator,” says Ted.
Unexpected: The natural interior light, and the main deck’s lee shelter in an otherwise windy environment.
Recommend: Designers William and Cecile, they listened.
Next Time: Add wind-generated power.
- © Fairfax NZ News