Lake Hawea House

A house to consider a sublime landscape, and find refuge from climatic extremes.

At the heart of the home is a courtyard sanctuary –  a middle ground between the domestic scale and the immensity of the landscape.

Looking at the house now, and seeing the way it fits so well on the contours of the land, it still makes me feel excited.

Lake Hawea House


NZIA New Zealand Architecture Medal – Shortlisted

NZIA New Zealand Architecture Award – Housing Category

HOME Magazine Home of the Year Award – Finalist

NZIA Southern Architecture Awards

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The Lake Hawea Courtyard House is grounded in rural land at the foot of Mount Maude in the Otago region.


The dominant landscape and big views invited a design enquiry into the nature of the site. What kind of architecture is best and most appropriate to occupy such a landscape? How could you define and inhabit the edges of the house?


The design response was a low-slung residential home with a simple square plan. It imagines the modest language of the region’s early vernacular buildings – but elevated by rigourous architectural detailing.


It is a refuge in what can be an extreme climate; the fully enclosed stone construction is anchored to the land, its singular form given texture by the irregular shaped bricks that form its armour. At the heart of the home is a courtyard sanctuary –  a middle ground between the domestic scale of the interiors and the vastness of the landscape, framing views to the lofty mountain across low, wide plains.

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