A Remarkable Home

After some 3 months of researching an estimated 10,000 floor plans and building styles, for several hours a day, the Callesens were satisfied they knew what they wanted and how to get it. The site at Queenstown’s Lakeside Estate has magnificant views which encompass Lake Wakatipu to the west and is dominated to the east by the formidable Remarkable Range. New Zealand’s outdoors at its best which deserved the well considered detail which was to become “Valhalla.”

Designer Dave Lowe of Interact Architects & Designers Ltd. worked closely with the owners Christine and Denis Callesen to achieve the objectives of a design which would be flexible and comfortable. Christine and Denis wanted a home of high quality which would provide warmth, comfort and be versatile enough to cater for both friends and family and double as a venue for conferences and a corporate retreat.

The home of approximately 550 square meters features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, formal lounge and dining facilities to seat 16 guests and provides all the creature comforts imaginable whilst housing a variety of “treasures” the Callesens have collected in their travels. Many items tell a story adding personal charm and memories of times past. From the lighting, the granite and marble flooring to the finely crafted and generous timber features this home exudes taste and quality.

“The 8m high, 40 degree pitched roof required a high level of engineering and design, with the resulting truss systems fulfiling the possible future needs of the client for additional living space,” says David Lowe.
The dramatic roof evokes the spectacular alpine vistas of the surrounding Remarkables, whilst maximising the views of the lake and mountains from every room in the house.

The detailing and finishing in this home is a particular point of pride and the work of builder and master craftsman Ian Rutch and his two sons Dion and Simon. Denis, as manager of the Hermitage, has had considerable experience with a variety of trades and specifically chose Ian to build his home. “I needed not only a builder whose skills I could rely on but also a person I could trust to manage the project in my absence,” say Denis. “Ian has done a magnificent job and his attention to detail has been beyond my expectations....which is not easy I might add. This is the second home Ian has built for me which is a measure of the confidence I have and importance I place on his skills”
The Lakeside Estate and Queenstown area has some very tight building specifications related to the acceptable usage of various materials. The primary rationale being that the material and style of any building should be complementary to the alpine landscape. The Queenstown weather with high snowfall and extremes in temperature from winter to summer influence both the design and choice of material. The steep pitching roof is both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Gerard Textured Coronashake was the first choice of roof cladding which provides the necessary protection, was lightweight but strong, allowing for freedom in design concept, and was in harmony with the surrounding landscape. The textured onyx shake has a subtle shadowed profile which blends well with the changing mood of the Remarkable range linking the building to the environment. The natural Gibson Valley Stone, Totara, Cedar, Larch and Coronashake are all complementary blurring the distinction between building and nature. 

This is certainly a home the Callesens can be proud of but it also stands as a testimony to the skills of designer, builder and owner working together to achieve a superb result.

Client: Christine & Denis Callesen

Designer: Dave Lowe
Architect: Interact Architects & Designers Ltd
157 Vivian Street, Wellington
Telephone: 04 801 7134

Builder & Project Manager:
Ian Rutch Building
Telephone: 0274 379 704
or 021 550 407
Fax: 03 438 7612

Roofing manufacturer: Gerard Roofs
Telephone: 0800 104 868
Profile: Coronashake Textured
Colour: Onyx

Roofing contractor: Central Roof Tiles
James Hay
Telephone: 03 445 0553
Mobile: 0275 349 804