Treehouse dream fulfilled with Gerard

Treehouse dream fulfilled with Gerard

Since being a small child, Rik Hothersall had dreamed of living in a house among the treetops. So when his wife Boio agreed to this lofty ideal, the couple set about building on a section in the middle of a forest.

Having chosen one of New Zealand’s harshest environments for the designer home, they chose a Gerard roof which not only enhances the aesthetic, but offers the necessary performance, and protection from the elements.

The octagonal Hanmer Springs ‘treehouse’ concept was always going to be exciting and intriguing for Kiwi homeowners and designers, and when it aired on TV’s Grand Designs recently, much of the resulting press and commentary online focused on the local environment the couple have chosen to build in.

The area is prone to earthquakes, classified as an ‘extra high’ wind zone, and often records New Zealand’s most extreme hot and cold temperatures.

But for all the perceived risk, there’s been just as much reward for Rik and Boio, who have chosen their roof and materials carefully to achieve something special and unique.

Gerard Corona the perfect fit

Constructed almost exclusively from rich local redwood sourced and milled by Rik himself, the design is stunningly intricate, and harmonious with its natural alpine surroundings.

With a 25-degree pitch, unique shape, and a huge triple-glazed skylight offering maximum light intake and some casual star gazing opportunities, Designer Sally Turnbull explains the roof had to bring its own aesthetic value:

          “The roof needed to fit with the natural tree and wood theme elsewhere in the design, and also blend into the surrounding trees and look good. I didn’t want anything reflective or shiny.”

She sensed Gerard Corona was the best fit among Gerard’s range of eight profiles, and went online to get buy in from her clients:

          “I showed them examples of Corona on the (Gerard) website Gallery, and the images sealed the deal.”

Her judgement and efforts have been validated, with Gerard Corona’s textured, organic grooves enhancing the treehouse aspect from every angle and resulting in very happy clients, as explained by owner Rik himself:

          “The roof is fantastic, and looks great. We’re delighted with it and happy we chose Gerard.”

Environment calls for pressed steel performance

Sally reveals she was initially open to a variety of roofing, but had to carefully assess the performance attributes of each against the conditions she was designing for:

          “Wooden shingles and shakes were considered, but we rejected them due to fire, snow, weight and wind issues. I suggested Gerard to the client as the perfect solution for the roof because it had to be light due to the site’s proximity to the active Hope and Hanmer faults.”

Achieving both the perfect aesthetic and top notch performance, this Gerard roof helps make the celebratory champagne taste that much better for Rik and Boio as they toast their new home, and the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.


See press coverage of the project on, and

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