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Kia Ora Homestead
by Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd



The architectural proposition arose from the client and architect's shared interest in the uniquely Australian qualities of the place; not only its relationship to landscape and physical setting, but also its role as the principal residence on a working property. The site is exposed and dramatic, commanding a series of vistas over the Kia Ora Stud, the Segenhoe valley and distant mountains. The approach road and arrival sequence are carefully planned to heighten the drama of the site. The full prospect unfolds only after visitors ascend the hill, park, walk along the screened pathway and enter the Homestead. The homestead, out-buildings and associated enclosures define a series of outdoor spaces, each with its own character and offering choices between sun or shade; shelter or exposure; active or passive use. The building is carefully calibrated into the topography, with field-stone, dug from the site itself, facing the base and walls, anchoring the building to the hillside. The long, folded roof hovers above, following the contours of the hill, making the building at one with its setting. INTEGRATION OF DISCIPLINES The architect and builder worked together closely from the start; resolving materials and detail, developing estimates, building prototypes and selecting specialist trades. The relationship with the landscape architect and contractor was similarly cooperative. Structural, hydraulic and mechanical engineers all developed innovative solutions to the unique challenges of the project. COST / VALUE The building cost, (excluding FF&E, pool, external areas, landscape and site works) is approximately $4,800 per

square metre. This represents very good value for a highly detailed project in a rural location. SUSTAINABILITY All principal rooms have northerly orientation with generous roof overhangs to control summer/winter sun, and a dramatic cantilever shelters the western verandah. The elongated plan provides excellent cross ventilation and natural light throughout. Flyscreens control the ubiquitous summer flies. The primary structure uses materials with high thermal mass; concrete floors, reinforced block, brick and stone. These smooth the diurnal temperature cycle. The roof has dual insulation, with multiple reflective zones and bulk insulation. Roof water is collected and filtered for potable use. Sewerage is treated on site and absorbed in plant beds. Water is solar heated and the pool has a bi-layer solar retractable cover with heat pump boost. All lining and flooring timbers are recycled hardwood. Lighting makes extensive use of linear and compact fluorescent fittings. THE PLAN AND CLIENT PROGRAM The cranked linear plan has a generous single-loaded gallery leading past a breezeway/study to twin north-facing guest rooms. It terminates at the east facing master bedroom with views out to hills and dry gullies; a particular favourite of the client - he refers to it as “Tom Roberts Country.” The main living room at the western end is the hub of a series of entertaining spaces assembled around the pool, terraces and cantilevered verandah. The spatial arrangement suits the client's requirement for a house which can be used by family and friends, or accommodate visiting dignitaries and guests of the estate.

via Scone, NSW
Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd
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Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd
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.Project Team
Project architect: Brent TROUSDALE
Design architect: Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd
Design architect: Paul BERKEMEIER
Structural consultant: Birzulis Associates
Civil consultant: Acor Consultants
Electrical consultant: Lighting Art & Science
Mechanical consultant: Richard Duggan & Associates
Hydraulic consultant: Acor Consultants
Landscape consultant: CAB Consulting
Interior designer: Nicolas Graham & Associates
Builder: Jeff Towler Building Pty Ltd
: David GOWTY
: Miriam GREEN
-: Steven SHERIDAN
Owners Representative: Monckton Fyfe Pty Ltd
Landscape: Bates Landscape Services Pty Ltd
Photographer: Brett Boardman

Photographs by Brett Boardman, text by Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects