The distinctive shifting roof forms of this cedar-clad family home appear to mimic its rugged backdrop, the Remarkables mountain range.
This holiday home in an exclusive subdivision in Queenstown makes its mark amidst gabled pitches through a collection of shifting single-pitched forms designed to mimic the rising backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range. From the inside, it provides an intimate connection with the landscape as well.
Clad in cedar, these changing forms meander down the hill, effectively cutting into it and wrapping around a central courtyard, sunken behind a sloping garden.
“Right from the get-go, our clients wanted something different, yet still in keeping with the alpine feel as the subdivision guidelines require,” says architect Erin Taylor of Hyndman Taylor Architects.
“Our response was to use a collection of interlinked single-pitch forms with a dynamic relationship to the alpine context. Viewed against the Remarkables, these forms shift and stagger up incrementally with the direction of the mountain face. Conversely, from the top of the site, the roof pitches shift into opposing directions channelling views and entry.”
The architects worked with the fall of the relatively narrow site and orientated the house primarily to the north-west, to the sun. “By grounding the house into the site, we established privacy from the neighbouring properties, as well as the road, before opening out to the spectacular views of the valley, lake and peaks in the distance,” explains Taylor.
The entrance pulls you into a long corridor that opens entirely to the views through a glazed link on the north-western aspect. On one side of this upper floor is the guest wing, perched above the courtyard and facing the top garden. Further along is the family’s sleeping quarters, where the internal spaces profit from the high pitches. These light- and view-filled spaces are enhanced by playful patterns, textures and lighting.
The house accommodates a range of adaptable break-out areas for the various occupants to retreat to, which is essential in a home that often caters to large groups.
A double-height, atrium-style window lights your way as you descend into the main lower-level living area. At the bottom is a kitchen that opens to the outdoor living space and a dining area that steps down to a sunken lounge. Those enjoying alfresco dining by the outdoor fire can effectively see over the living room couches and onto the view beyond, while being screened from the prevailing southerlies.
The entire façade facing the lake at this level is a glazed panorama, welcoming plenty of natural light. In contrast to these glazed walls, high-level shuttered peepholes and clerestory windows scattered throughout the house offer small vignettes into the landscape.
To the left at the bottom of the staircase is a sunken library that leads to yet another guest bedroom, the ensuite of which doubles as the powder room at the bottom of the stairs.
This characterises the way the house is compiled: a series of cleverly interlinked spaces of discovery – that can be comfortably excluded as group sizes demand – inspired by and connected to the rugged surroundings.
Erin Taylor from Hyndman Taylor Architects talks about the lighting of Jack’s Point House.
What was your approach to the lighting design, given the high ceiling studs and unusual roof planes?
Our clients normally reside in an urban city apartment with flat ceilings [in stark contrast to this house]. Lighting, such as an oversized single pendant or a cluster of offset lights, contributes to the exploration of volume by highlighting these different ceiling scapes. The core of the house design is about a journey of discovery.
How does the lighting plan fit into this?
Lighting works to establish a leading passage through the house; for example, the low-level lighting of a shoe slot in the entry passage. Another example is the copper pendant that greets you at the entrance and, again, further along at the side of a stair nook, finally culminating in a collection over the kitchen and dining table.
You also have a pendant under a skylight in one of the bedrooms.
Sometimes you can’t always see a full moon through the skylight, so why not suspend a copper one there? Children’s bedrooms should be fun!