Dream Queenstown home hits small screen

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WHEN Anne Oliver was young she’d spend long summer days messing about on the Shotover River.

So when her husband Bryan offered to buy her a dream home anywhere in the world for her retirement, those wonderful childhood memories of Queenstown informed her decision.

Now – three years, more than $2 million and one award-winning architect later – she’s the proud owner of a stunning family home in Kelvin Heights.

The project, in particular the guiding hand of architect Tony Koia, was filmed for new TVNZ series The Art of the Architect.

It’s due to screen on TV1 next Thursday.

Architect Koia – who has offices in Auckland and Queenstown – says: “Neither of us has seen the finished episode yet.

“Anne’s coming to have dinner with my family and we’ll all watch it together live, probably grimace in parts!

“They [producers] approached us to see if we had anything that might fill their criteria.

“It could be your worst nightmare or best marketing experience ever.

“Through the process the cameras are over your shoulder while you work, and you know there’s no guaranteed happy outcome – it’s only hard work and perseverance that will get you there.”

Koia won a mini-competition organised by the Olivers to land the Peninsula Road project, after outlining a 471 square metre home over four levels.

Perth-based teacher Oliver says: “Tony’s came in streaks ahead of the others because it utilised the whole block and captured views from every room.

“It’s absolutely beautiful – you see straight through to the lake, it’s like an infinity pool.”

The four-bedroom house was made from local schist, cedar, zinc and features large aluminium-framed windows.

Oliver and Koia admit the project went “a long way over” the initial $2.1m budget, after adding luxury features such as a hot tub.

But they say the focus of the show is the professional relationship between client and architect.

“It’s great for people to see the process unfold – discussions about different views, how you come to a conclusion,” Koia says.

The house was built by Geoff McNee’s firm Just Build It.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz