Justin and Louise Carnie of Wanaka found the perfect build-your-own solution for themselves, their six children and two dogs – a large, gabled home in Mt Gold Place designed by Johnston Architects.
It helped of course, that Justin Carnie is the managing director of CDL Building and Turnkey Homes. He has just won the Southern Master Builders Builder’s Own Home Award and a Gold Award for the family’s 687 square-metre house.
Carnie says the couple’s design brief to the architect was for a “really functional home for the family”. “We wanted to put a personal twist on it, with a lot of carpentry detailing to showcase what we can do.”
With this in mind, Carnie outsourced many materials from overseas, including a dramatic Italian stone for the kitchen benchtops and splashback, and timber from Canada for both the exterior and interior.
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The house comprises three gabled pavilions oriented towards the west to capture the evening sun and views over the swimming pool towards Lake Wanaka and Treble Cone beyond.
Each pavilion is staggered in plan to create varied exterior spaces that provide shelter, sunlight or shade, allowing the family to comfortably enjoy the outdoor environment all year round.
To complement the rugged Wanaka environment, the Carnies choose to use the traditional Japanese “shou sugi ban” technique on the exterior, charring the larch weatherboards. This provides a particularly durable, low-maintenance cladding with a rich, dark texture
On the interior, robust exposed rafters are counterpointed by delicate steel tension trusses, immaculately dressed stonework chimneys and high-performance European door and window joinery. Louise Carnie was closely involved with the interior design.
In announcing the award, the Master Builders judges said: “When a builder constructs their own home, it is a stake in the ground that puts a spotlight on the design, materials, finishing and overall craftsmanship for all to see. In this case, the builders have succeeded in displaying creativity in design from beginning to end.”
Now, however, change is on the horizon. The Carnies recently sold their house for $6.65 million (homes.co.nz) and moved out of the property last Thursday.
They are moving to a new block of land where they will be doing it all again. The couple say they are planning another showcase of “residential building excellence” that will continue to set a precedent in Wanaka.