Inside The Award-Winning Vineyard Villa at The Landing

The breathtaking Vineyard Villa at The Landing in the Bay of Islands scooped up an award at the 2019 New Zealand Institute of Architects Auckland Awards. MiNDFOOD STYLE travels to the luxurious destination and chats to Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects about the unforgettable Vineyard Villa. 

A visit to the Vineyard Villa at The Landing should perhaps come with a warning or two. Firstly, there’s the very likely chance that you won’t want to leave. And then there’s the fact that once you do come to terms with the reality of returning home, you’ll then spend hours thinking about how you can convince Nat Cheshire, the architect behind the breathtaking property, to work his magic on your property.

The Vineyard Villa is just one of four Cheshire Architect-designed properties situated on the sprawling Bay of Islands coastal property that makes up The Landing. Northland native and Britomart developer, Peter Cooper purchased the idyllic piece of land back in 1999. For the past two decades, Cooper has reinvigorated the remarkable 400-hectare property, planting native trees and restoring archaeological sites of significance.

With its six private beaches and award-winning vineyard it doesn’t take a lot to fall head over heels with The Landing and each of its four residences – all available for luxurious staycations. There’s the grand Cooper residence which played home to Obama last year; the undeniable romantic Boathouse perched on the magical waterfront; and the striking Gabriel residence with its panoramic view. They are all captivating in their own way, but there’s something enigmatic and unforgettably charming about the Vineyard Villa.

Inside the Vineyard Villa at the Landing where outdoor and indoor living become one.

While Nat’s father Pip was at the helm for the other three properties, Nat explains that Vineyard Residence was the first property on which he took the lead. “The other houses are major bespoke houses for owners. This was a much smaller proposition, it’s almost like a bridge for people,” he explains. What it lacks in size – which is of course, subjective – the villa makes up for in character. Its remarkable relationship with the surrounding land is possibly the most salient feature of the residence. “The starting point was that it wanted to dig its heel into the ground,” says Cheshire.

“It really wanted to say it would be there for a very long time and part of the house had been there for a very long time.” Cheshire is referring to the stonewall created by boulders extracted from The Landing’s expansive landscape. “It’s the spine of everything,” Cheshire says. “It wanted to project itself both forward and backwards in time.”

To balance the dramatic nature of the stonewall, Cheshire explains that the lighting of the living space needed to be very open; so open in fact, that the house can transform into what Cheshire describes as a covered terrace. Throwing all caution to the wind, Cheshire decided to reinvent the concept of both doors and windows, designing floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that wrap around the entire living space and open up completely.

“When it is fully open, especially in those idyllic Bay of Islands months, it really is like you are living on the deck of a boat and you’re outside rather than in a house.” It felt only natural, says Cheshire, that the bedrooms became the opposite of the living space. “The idea is that you’re entering a space that’s a bit more romantic, not in an amorous way but it’s cabin-like. It’s almost like you have entered a second building, it’s a place of shelter.” Cheshire says it was a deliberate move to mark the beginning and end of the day. “The landscape up there can be so overwhelming – it’s a 360-degree view – and it’s still and hot, or it’s windy, or it’s sunny and blinding. “It’s important to be able to retreat from that.”

Take a look inside the Vineyard Villa at The Landing in the gallery below and pick up a copy of MiNDFOOD Style to discover more of the breathtaking location.

Visit the to book your own luxury escape and stay at the Vineyard Villa.

8 eco-friendly homes around the world for green gateways

April 22 marks World Earth Day, and to celebrate sustainable living HomeExchange shed a light on community members around the world who go above-and-beyond by converting or building eco-friendly homes.

This selection includes different versions of passive homes, applying a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency, which reduces the building’s ecological footprint.

1. Perth, Scotland

The owners of this spectacular home with awe-inspiring architecture started it as a “fun retirement project.” The house features solar heating, an energy efficient boiler, and wood sourced from managed forests.

Image: Supplied

2. Lazio, Italy

This sleek Italian abode is a passive home which was built using green materials and was designed with a purpose: to leave a low environmental impact. In the winter the home is heated (primarily) by the sun, and in the summer it is cooled with a geothermal system. The large glass window faces south to a valley below, capturing all of the wonders of nature.

Image: Supplied

3. Oberösterreich, Austria

Welcome to Austria! Here you will be surrounded by picturesque views of meadows, woods, and mountains on the horizon. The modern day home has a treehouse-like ambiance and was built out of sustainable materials. There is also a garden filled with fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables, which serves as a subtle reminder of what nature provides.

Image: Supplied

4. Moselle, France

This eccentric home is built entirely out of red-cedar and other natural materials. Members who have stayed in the ecological round house in the past have said that they loved the tranquility of being nestled in the forest and taking in the scenic views.

Image: Supplied

5. Punta Rubia, Uruguay

This home in Punta Rubia combines the idea of tiny home minimalism with the increased independence that sustainable living provides. Water comes from a well and is heated using solar energy. The homeowners also separate their trash and have a compost allocated in the garden. An added bonus: the homeowner supports local business with all of the furniture in the home handmade by local artisans.

Image: Supplied

6. Québec, Canada

The massive walls of this chalet are isolated in bales of straw and covered with plasters of clay and lime. The purpose of this is to make it warm in winter and cool in summer. The artisan’s materials were chosen to minimise the ecological footprint: straw, clay, lime, recovered wood, and bricks salvaged from the old brick factory East.

Image: Supplied

7. Nueva Atlantis, Argentina

This Ranch-style Argentinian home is ideal for sharing moments, away from the stress of the city, where you can find the perfect combination between countryside and sea with streets lined with greenery, landscaping and wide beaches. The owners embrace the environment by using a system of solar energy to charge cell phones, emergency lights and by having an (optional) parabolic solar cooker to cook with the energy of the sun.

Image: Supplied

8. Haute-Loire, France

Not only is this home a wooden wonder, but it is also a passive home which was built out of natural wood and has a phytodepuration water collector. It’s located near the forest and is the perfect spot for outdoor activities.

Image: Supplied