Karaka Heights

Karaka Heights House is a new family home located on an elevated, rural property, with breathtaking views of the Wairarapa Valley and Tararua Ranges beyond.

The site was originally grazed farmland and with rolling topography presented a limited building platform requiring comprehensive earthworks and retaining, as well as extensive landscaping to soften the proposed built works.

The client brief was to create generous and luxurious spaces that connected seamlessly to the outdoors and framed the panoramic views as well as a comprehensive functional brief incorporating: 4 bedrooms, triple car garage, multiple living spaces, sheltered outdoor living and pool. In response a large single-level home is arranged around a generous circulation corridor that connects the living and bedroom pavilion to the garage and utility spaces. A “butterfly” roof form unifies the internal/external footprint and adds a striking visual element on approach to the home.

Presented with expansive north facing views but exposed to the North-westerly and with no existing vegetation or landscaping, the design challenge was to accommodate a comprehensive programme that captured the views but provided sheltered/connected indoor and outdoor spaces. The response was to recess the outdoor living into the floor plan on either side of the primary living spaces creating outdoor living rooms that are sheltered and seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor spaces.

The exterior form presents as two opposing mono pitched roofs on approach, with standing seam metal cladding creating a sophisticated exterior “shell” to the south while naturally finished vertical timber weatherboards provide a softer finish to the north facing outdoor spaces. The entrance features a dramatic roof canopy structure supported with a collection of metal posts and an irregular slat screen.

The extensive landscaping has transformed the empty farm paddock into stunning outdoor living spaces. A sunken pool area and infinity lawn has been achieved through terraced block and timber retaining walls while extensive native planting provides a lush and serene environment for relaxation and entertainment.

The interiors of Karaka Heights House are light and airy, with a monochrome kitchen and bathroom scheme that is softened with timber detailing throughout. Oak flooring adds warmth to the living spaces, while colourful textiles and textural window furnishings create a sense of comfort and luxury.