House of the week: Lake Taupo

Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014

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Located in Te Rangiita on the shores of Lake Taupo, this holiday home has been inspired by its surroundings.

A scoop of sand from the lake foreshore led to a colour palette of pumice, grey, black and silver tones, set off by blonded knot-free timber.

Owners Graeme and Sharryn McLaughlin originally had different ideas about the materials.

"I wanted a Lockwood interior finish, and my wife wanted a conventional finish, so we compromised," Graeme said.

"It's a Lockwood exterior and the interior is a conventional gib board, painted.

"The finish is really fresh, and alpine-like."

Built on the site of a demolished bach, it has been designed to blend in with the environment, Graeme says.

"If you're standing on the reserve and look at the house, you might think it's quite dark, but it's been designed that way specifically to blend in.

"There are high windows that let a lot of bright light in."

The home consists of a unique pod system, and each pod contains a different living space.

It has been built for family, holding a total of five bedrooms, three bathrooms and two living rooms.

One pod contains a master bedroom with ensuite, closet and library. Another is an open-plan living pod, with living room, dining room and kitchen. The third pod forms a separate apartment in its own right.

"The idea was we could lock off different parts of the house if we weren't using them," Graeme says.

"We often let extended family stay in the apartment module."

Builder Peter Richards says all the pods, which are connected by glass link walkways, boast views of the lake.

"And from each pod you can see through one room to the next, so you get an almost tunnel vision.

"It's been designed with holiday mode in mind, and the indoor-outdoor flow is a great feature of it."


Build cost: Over $1 million

Size: 360sqm

Architect: Jorgen Fransden of Ambienti Architects

Builder: Peter Richards of Peter Richards Builders Taupo

Materials: Pine clears grade Lockwood walls with blonding finish for inside of exterior walls, Cedar external cladding, conventional painted gib board interior walls, CertainTeed Hatteras ashphalt shingle roof.

Energy efficiency: Insulation in walls, 3.6 batts in ceiling, double glazed, LED lighting, underfloor heating, log fires.

Done Right: "We spent a lot of time and effort working with the architect," Graeme says. "He built us a little model which we could take the roof off, and over the summer we sat it out on the ground and watched how the sun worked with it, where the shading and shadows were."

Done Wrong: "I wouldn't change anything. It's actually quite fantastic. It's perfect how it is."

Unexpected: Nothing unexpected came up during the build with this Lockwood home, builder Peter Richards says. "It's basically controlled in the factory, all the cutting of the boards and everything."

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Recommend: "Don't go rushing in," Graeme says. "Take all the emotion away from it and look at the practical side of things. Once we knew what we wanted, it was able to be drawn up."

Do you have a home that could be featured as House of the Week? Email us on with the details.

- Stuff


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