Approaching this home from the road below, Stone Aerie seems to have erupted from the Earth, so well-integrated is it in the surrounding landscape.
Architect Greg West and builder Graham Valk created an iconic structure for Marlborough's heritage. In 1995, the New Zealand Institute of Architects recognised Stone Aerie as a dwelling of enormous style and understatement when they described it as 'settling unobtrusively, offering a sense of strength and shelter. Ostentation and stylism are avoided; instead the house celebrates in a vocabulary of stone and timber used with confidence yet restraint'.
This north-facing home enjoys expansive vistas over the Richmond Ranges, while the enormous master bedroom also offers views over the Wairau Plains extending to the Wellington coastline. The guest wing contains four additional bedrooms, two of which are currently being used as offices. The walls of the en-suite shower are windows to the Kaikoura ranges to the south.
The hand-adzed Australian ironbark poles which support the roof are not only outside the house, but inside as well. There is natural overhead lighting in every room. The kitchen's granite benchtops and cooking island, Gaggenau appliances, suspended Klieg lighting and walk-in pantry provide the necessary size and elements a professional chef would require, should the future of Stone Aerie be as an exclusive lodge. A sauna, gym and spa are already in place.
Stone Aerie protects its privacy with almost 15 hectares of elevated land to secure its borders. The property does lend itself to commercial development with the capacity to construct additional smaller separate guest quarters, each with an uninterrupted vista. Currently planted in olives with some land being grazed, the property is easily maintained, allowing plenty of leisure time to make the few minute's drive to Malborough's wineries, golf courses or trout fishing rivers.
The Marlborough Sounds can be reached in less than an hour. Blenheim, known for its friendliness and its climate, is only ten kilometres away, while the seven minute drive to the airport makes travel to Wellington or Auckland a breeze.