Wanaka Wedge House, by Actual Architecture Co.

Wanaka Wedge House, by Actual Architecture Co.

This project was selected as an Honor winner in the 2022 Residential Architect Design Awards, Custom Home / 3,000 Square Feet or Less category.

“Whether or not they were trying to make the project an affordable housing type, this is a great approach for how to make design not a luxury.” — Juror Lindsey Slay Williams, Assoc. AIA

The New England coast might be a long way from the South Island of New Zealand. But with its design for Wanaka Wedge House, Actual Architecture Co. of Omaha, Neb., bridged the gap between these two seemingly disparate locales, proving the adaptability of the firm’s unique approach to contemporary kit-based design.

Originally conceived for a site in eastern Maine, the 3,000-square-foot home is a far cry from the conventional, prefab catalog home. Sensitive to the needs of its sophisticated, art-loving clients, the team adapted its original concept into a luxurious bit of urbe in rus, adding custom features such as the locally sourced eucalyptus wood that warms select floors, ceilings, and walls. At the same time, the designers have ensured that the house is perfectly attuned to its remote Antipodean condition.

Sitting on an upland slope in the scenic Otago region, the house’s irregular fenestration allows multiple views of the windswept landscape, while its suite of eco-friendly features (solar-powered generators, renewably sourced lumber, regenerative plantings on the adjacent grounds) makes it a true complement to its natural surrounds. Equal parts economical and organic, Wanaka Wedge House bears out the promise of Actual’s inventive prototype idea, bringing cosmopolitanism and comfort to a countryside near you.

Project: Wanaka Wedge House, Queensberry, Central Otago, New Zealand.
Client/Owner: Justine Cormack & Marc Taddei
Design Architect (project based on prototype house designed by Min | Day): Actual Architecture Co., Omaha, Neb, Jeffrey L. Day, FAIA (founding principal); Dennis Krymuza (project manager)
Interior Designer: Actual Architecture Co.
Structural Engineer (building): Richards Consulting Engineers,
Structural Engineer (steel): Select Engineering
Construction Manager: Justine Cormack
General Contractor: Matthew Colebrook, Colebrook & Co.
Landscape Architect: Owners
Lighting Designer: Actual Architecture Co. with the owners
Local representative / construction documents: Ian Perry, Architectural Designer, I Design
Wood supplier: John Fairweather Specialty Timber Solutions
Concrete Floor Finishing: Polished Concrete Central
Millwork: McMaster Joinery in Waimate
Size: 2,575 square feet
Cost: $700,000

Appliances: Fisher and Paykel
Award Rangehood: Noel Leeming Commerical
Vanities, toliets, towel rails: Newtech.
Bathroom Supplies: Plumbing World Wanaka
Plumbing and Gas: Mike Hasler Plumbing and Gas
Concrete for Slab: 13mm river stones in standard concrete, Firth Concrete
Concrete Polishing: Polished Concrete Central
Countertops: Corian
Exterior Cladding: Colorcote Slate and Sandstone Grey, Colorcote
Bathroom Tiles: Bricco Design Central – The Tile People
Bathroom Tiling: Aspiring Tiling
Wood Flooring: Oak Markant, Haro Flooring
Wooden Flooring Installation: Floortago
Living room couches – Eve from Citta, Citta Design
Main bed: Frank King Bed, Coastwood Furniture
Guest Bed: Twain Sofabed Paula’s Home and Living
Bathroom Shower Glass and Mirrors: Euroglass Wanaka
Building Supplies: Placemakers Wanaka
External Grills and Louvres: Holyoake Industries
Whole House Fan: Raycon Engineers Pty
Underfloor heating – Mitsubishi Heat Pump, Warm and Cool
Fibreglass cladding; Easiroll
Insulated Slab: Maxraft
Lighting: Pendant lights – Big bang (living room) and Gregg (landing) Foscarini
Electrical: Lake Wanaka Electrical
Lighting and electrical supplies: Radcliffe Electrical Wanaka
Structural Steel and Steel Walls: Select Engineering
Millwork (wood paneling)
T&G wood – Eucalyptus Nitens and Fastigata, John Fairweather Specialty Timbers
Interior Oil and wax for Internal wood, Natural House Company, Motueka
Photovoltaics or other Renewables: 6.6kW photovoltaic array with a Tesla Powerwall battery system
Mitsubishi Hot water heat pump: Warm and cool
Tapware: Loft Waterware – via Plumbing World
Exterior Cladding: Colorcote Slate and Sandstone Grey, Colorcote
Butynol Roofing: Roofing King
Structural System: Wood frame
Window Joinery: Lewis Windows – Cromwell
Cat door: The pet flap
Door Harware: Knobs ‘n Knockers Cromwell
Wine Cellar Structure: Contract Coolstores
Wine Cellar Refrigeration: Total Refrigeration
Wine Cellar Refrigeration installation: Cromwell Refrigeration and Electrical
Fireplace: Escea Gas Fireplace DF960 4 Seasons