katipo design is a Dunedin-based Architectural Design Firm specialising in Residential Buildings on difficult sites with amazing views.

Methven Lodge

Methven, Mt Hutt village

Two diametrically opposed client wishes drove the design of this home: It had to be large, and it had to be cheap.


The owner is a generous host to groups of snowboarders during the winter season, and the house soaks up the large number of people who spend their season in Methven. A disco ball and vodka bottle show the true nature of the house, and the 5m high lounge really adds to the regular winter parties.

We designed this house for passive solar gain, so the large double height windows in the lounge face North, and the block wall within the space absorbs the heat from the sun, releasing it slowly through the night. A clever innovation of ours was to position the log fire within the center of the block wall so that heat rising off the fire and flue warms the wall which acts as a storage device, rather like a massive nightstore heater.