On a raised plateau on the Crown Range, high above the snow line and overlooking the Queenstown Basin, sits a timber lodge that’s been expertly crafted with its unique location in mind.
Enveloped by majestic mountains, looking out to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and The Crown Range, this spectacular setting offers tranquility and privacy, and makes for an idyllic location in which to build a retreat from the hustle and bustle.
Designed by architect Ruth Whitaker of Mason & Wales, and constructed by the team at Landmark Homes, this two-bedroom home was crafted with intimacy and warmth in mind.
“The client wanted a mountain retreat that really enhanced its incredible location for year-round enjoyment,” Ruth explains.
“They wanted a large open plan living/dining/kitchen area, spacious master bedroom suite with a connecting cosy library reading room, a separate wing for guests, an external double garage – plus multiple fireplaces for hunkering down in winter.”
Developed in response to its impressive surroundings, and with the goal of capturing the views at every opportunity, the design is a cluster of interconnected timber structures.
Two buildings are connected by a window-walled hallway, which forms the main entrance of the home. Alongside, the garage is positioned in such a way that it feels part of the main home and helps define the entrance forecourt, creating angular landscaped spaces in between.
The surrounding natural landscape is wild, vast and a true expression of the Otago highlands, an open pasture of tussock-filled land. A series of low stone garden walls reach out from the house to connect with the land and help define the landscape in which the building is set in.
To further blend into the agrarian section, the home has been crafted entirely of timber – inside and out. The detailing and craftmanship from Landmark Homes to create a strong sense that the home is one exquisite piece of timber joinery, embracing its rustic surroundings.
This extends from the outside in, with floors, walls, ceilings, exposed roof trusses, architraves and joinery all elegantly constructed from timber, providing a lovely sense of peace, wellbeing and a strong connection with the land.
Stained in a variety of complementary hues, from rich chocolate to strawberry gold, the extensive use of timber takes this home from stylish to show-stopping.
Stepping into the home’s walkway from the main entrance, a left turn leads you to the master suite and to the right is the living space and guest wing, the two areas elegantly separated. Directly ahead, a single door has been included in the walkway to lead through to an outdoor entertaining space under a timber portico.
With a large open wood fire and ample shelter from the weather, this becomes an all-weather retreat with never-ending views far and wide across the Wakatipu Basin.
The main living/dining/kitchen structure and guest wing is aligned towards Coronet Peak, with Mount Beetham in the foreground. At a right angle to this structure, the master bedroom/ library suite is aligned to The Remarkables.
While some would have a study space included in a new build, the inclusion of a library speaks to the old-worldly feel this home embodies. With shelves constructed entirely of the same type of timber used throughout the interiors, and styled with vintage-look furnishings, this nook feels completely removed from the living spaces, for a private escape within the home.
Meanwhile, the large open-plan living area adjacent is made for intimate social gatherings, with an inviting lounge space orientated around a woodburner. The focal point is a large sloping window at the end of the room, giving a sense of the space extending out and beyond the confines of the building.
The interior design was a collaborative approach with the client especially when it came to the lighting, given the client’s profession as a lighting designer.
From placement and choice of fittings, to the effects of down, low-level and mood lighting, the client developed a fully integrated plan to further enhance the captivating interior design and tactile materials.
Lighting also makes a considered impact on the exterior as well, with bi-directional lighting along the timber-clad walls, giving the home an ambient glow from first approach through to the interior spaces.
Cleverly designed and crafted to an exceptional standard, this interpretation of a modernist timber cabin is as iconic as the mountains surrounding it.