Tours: Lower Shotover House In New Zealand

The Local Project – In crafting Lower Shotover House, the architect designs a hidden home that offers a dramatic interior landscape to complement the impressive external context, ensuring it was built for residing in place. Crafted by Bureaux, the home embraces a natural materiality as the means to connecting to the outdoors.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Hidden Home 00:26 – Bunkering Into the Side of the Hill 01:00 – The Materials Used 01:40 – The Importance of Creating A Robust Home 02:10 – The Soft Pools of Light Throughout the Home 02:30 – Creating a Warm and Dramatic Feel 02:58 – The Building Aspect 03:29 – The Views from the Upstairs Bunk Room 03:51 – The Green Roof 04:17 – A Dramatic Kitchen 04:29 – Finding Joy in the Movement Between the Tight Spaces 04:51 – Creating A Timeless Masterpiece

Based in Queenstown, Lower Shotover House faces north, overlooking the Shotover River and Coronet Peak. The architect designs a hidden home that takes inspiration from the old musterer’s huts settled on the mountainside. Capitalising on the protective quality of the hill, the structures look out upon the landscape with a feeling of safety. Importantly, the architect designs a hidden home that utilises a stone composition and a house tour reveals the resulting echo of the rugged surrounds, as well as the proposition of permanence.

In materiality, Lower Shotover House reflects a playful interpretation of the natural context. The architect designs a hidden home that sees stone, black travertine and charcoal timber interior linings combine to establish a cosy interior design. Crafted in recognition of the clients’ lifestyle, Bureaux enforces a robust material palette that can withstand the markings of an active family in a timeless fashion. A dramatic home, Lower Shotover House features rich timber walls, carefully framed windows and pools of soft lighting.

The architect designs a hidden home in which residents are led through the interior with ease; a project where nothing is over-lit and the architecture captures both the compression and expansion of space. Residents must ascend a step in order to enter the kitchen, suggesting an element of theatricality within the experience of the home. As the architect designs a hidden home, they consider the relevance of orientation to the outcome. Lower Shotover House faces north and, as such, measures are put into place to retain heat and maximise the impact of the sweeping views.

While stone walls and a green roof influence the thermal quality of the building, doors measuring three metres high can be pushed back in order to control the thermal climate of the interior. The green roof also engages the surrounding hillside mass, blurring the boundary between landscape and home. Immersing occupants in the mountainside experience, Lower Shotover House forms the ideal place of retreat. Through a process of consideration, the architect designs a hidden home that, though contemporary, is ultimately defined by a prevailing sense of timelessness.

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