This stunning Queenstown property combines cutting-edge technology with traditional building elements, making it the perfect family home all year round.Â
Sitting on Slope Hill Road, in between Queenstown and Arrowtown, the home of Claire and Sam Hazledine and their two daughters is a dream come true. â€śYou look out one window and you see Coronet Peak, look out another window to Cardrona, turn again and you see Wakatipu Basin. Itâ€™s a pretty special place,â€ť says Claire. The family moved into the home twoÂ years ago after it was meticulously planned by Team Green architects who are based in Queenstown. â€śThe whole process was a bit of a blur to beÂ honest,â€ť says Claire. â€śI had aÂ baby and was pregnant for aÂ lot of it. We were lucky the architects did such a good job.â€ť
SiĂ˘n Taylor and Mark Read of Team Green were the lead architects for the design. Sam says the brief was pretty simple. â€śWe wanted a home that provides a great environment to raise our children. We wanted both a healthy environment and a loving environment. It needed to be warm in winter, cool in summer, with healthy air.â€ť Team Green was tasked with the job as they had experience in designing stylish, energy-efficient homes. â€śForm followed function in that we wanted to create spaces that support the way we want to live, while still being beautiful,â€ť says Sam. Claire agrees: â€śWeather is such aÂ big part of your life here. In the winter we get plenty of power cuts but the house doesnâ€™t ever get below 18 degrees which is great. The house stays really cool in the summer too.â€ť
Taylor says of the design brief, â€śSam and Claire had been looking to buy a house, but couldnâ€™t find anything that really suited what they wanted. A key concern was that the home was a warm, healthy and comfortable family home. â€śA combination of thermal comfort and energy efficient design is a fundamental part of what we provide for our clients. Another design criteria for Sam and Claire was that the house should be appropriate to its site, and our local vernacularÂ â€“Â it needed to look as though it was meant to beÂ there.â€ť
In terms of how the home looks, the Hazledines wanted aÂ traditional style building that wouldnâ€™t date. â€śWe wanted aÂ home that feltÂ like a lodge with traditional New Zealand rural elements,â€ť explains Sam. â€śLike a good business,Â we wanted the house to have rock-solid character andÂ values, while utilising the latest technology under the hood.â€ť Taking inspiration from the old minerâ€™s cottages around central Otago, the designers used schist as a feature in the classic stack-stone tradition.
â€śThe material palette came from the desire to look both timeless and of this region,â€ť says Taylor. â€śAÂ key element was the schist spine wall which runs the entire length of the house. â€śThis creates a definite front and back to the house, and allows for privacy from a popular cycle route while creating a strong visual element to direct visitors to the entry.â€ť AÂ mix of wood, concrete and glass also heavily featured in the classic design. â€śI particularly love the concrete floors,â€ť says Claire. â€śIn winter the floor is heated by the sun and then it retains the heat afterwards.â€ť For cold or overcast days, underfloor heating that comes from a ground-source heat pump is used. This type of central heating transfers heat from the ground by using the earth as aÂ heat source, which improves efficiency and reducesÂ operational costs.
â€śThe house looks very traditional with the use of wood but in order to achieve an outstanding environment, it is also very technical,â€ť says Sam. â€śSome of the technologies havenâ€™t been used a lot in NewÂ Zealand so these posed challenges coming together.â€ť The windows, for example, came from Germany. â€śThey have superior thermal qualities,â€ť says Claire, â€śand remain airtight, which is veryÂ important in passive solar Â design.â€ť The airtight windows prevent cold air drafts coming in the winter and hot air fromÂ entering theÂ home in theÂ summer. â€śI think we created a solid building that feels right in the rural landscape. The extensive use of oak and other natural products give the house a substantial feel,â€ť says Sam. Most importantly, the spaces work really well forÂ their family and the way they live. â€śThe large living area creates a huge space for the energy of family life to unfold,Â while the snug createsÂ a cozy intimate space to relax,â€ť explains Sam.
Take a look through this beautiful house by clicking on the images below.