Lakeside Retreat - Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand

A 1970s holiday home overlooking Lake Rotoiti is given a new lease of life using Abodo eco-timbers.

Project details

DCA Architects
Vulcan Cladding in Protector - Nero and Sioo:x Wood Coating
Photography credit
Nick Lambert / DCA Architects
Completion date
Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand

With older homes, the question of whether to renovate or start again can be a difficult one to answer. For this lakefront home, it was the location right on the shore - a new build would have required a longer setback - that helped the owners decide to go with a full refresh, and also prompted the use of Abodo’s New Zealand grown, sustainably sourced timbers.

Rotorua based architects DCA worked on a renovation plan to allow the house’s ideal footprint to be retained while still providing a modern holiday home for the owners. This involved recladding the home, removing two tin sheds to the rear and replacing them with garaging, and rejigging the interior to provide new internal and external living spaces.

“Consideration around prevailing winds and sun prompted the insertion of two living areas, one facing the lake and one on the southern side of the property,” says project lead Nick Chibnall-West. “We created an outdoor room of sorts that can be used in almost all weather, located off the back of the kitchen.”

Abodo timbers were specified for the exterior of the home, with Vulcan Cladding in Protector - Nero used for the external walls and Vulcan Cladding in Sioo:x coating for the soffits, which are a prominent feature in the sheltered outdoor room. By using Abodo cladding for the garage to the rear, including the garage door, this new structure blends aesthetically with the main house.

We try to use Abodo as much as possible,” says Nick. “For us it's a product grown close to home in the Kaingaroa Forest and we have a good relationship with Donelley Sawmill too. Knowing the product lifecycle is pretty appealing - it follows some of the core values of our company. We keep in mind the carbon footprint of materials and don't specify things that have to be shipped long distances. And with everything else going on at the moment, it's great having a handle on shipping routes and material delays when you're trying to get these projects off the ground.”

For Nick, stability was also key, with the lakefront being exposed to all weathers. “Even though the cladding is stained black - which with a lot of timber you can't do or it starts cupping and popping fixings - we've had a really hot summer and all the boards are still dead straight and everything looks perfect.

As a bonus, the builders loved using the Abodo cladding too and found the products easy to work with.”

The architects worked alongside interior designer Yvette Jay, who used a palette of natural materials to bring a relaxed, contemporary look to the interiors. The existing ceiling, previously polyurethaned timber, was painted white to add more light and to modernise the rooms. The new kitchen features a black chevron tiled splashback and warm textured European Oak cabinetry with a hardy and sleek leathered black granite benchtop.

With its incredible views over Lake Rotoiti, this contemporary holiday home has a whole new lease on life, with a palette of materials set to last well into the future.


See more about the products that have been used on this project.

Abodo Wood sioox
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Protector Coating Abodo Wood
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