Gorge Road Hotel - Buchan | ArchiPro

Gorge Road Hotel

Nestled between the Queenstown Hill Summit and the Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve, the siting of this development runs up to the edge of the reserve of Queenstown Hill and sits on the flat base of the Gorge at the Queenstown end of Gorge Road. The form of this natural topography became the generating idea for the development of the architectural response as the brief called for the positioning of two separately branded hotels and residences on the site, both sharing the road frontage.

Referencing this metaphor of the separation of the surrounding mountains by the thin strip of land that runs along the gorge, the parting of the architectural forms was divided into two by an analogous cavernous breach which also conveniently provides the functional access space for vehicular bus and car access to the site.

Each volume is robustly designed with a rectilinear form with symmetrical openings to internally frame glimpses of the surrounding landscape. Externally, the materials palate is chosen with a selection of simple modern tones and colour which resonate with and echo the surrounding environment and architectural aesthetic.

The upper floors form the residential band and have a slightly altered contrasting domestic scale appearance in form and material with a more discerning appearance drawing more on the vernacular of the regions domestic scale architecture. This contrast to the more modulated modern glass façade below helps to give the building a sense of layering and aids to break the building down to the human scale.

In contrast, the opposing building form takes on the same layering of the form but with a differing material response. Screening with the subtle introduction of local endemic grasses is used to soften the form and introduce an earthy tone to the building reflecting the building adjacent.

With a stepping in the façade to provide a subtle sense of the cascading landscapes surrounding whilst also softening the physical imposition of the buildings to the street. The  Entrance through the space is softened by the activity at the ground plain and tapering of the streetscape to allow for visual connection into space.

The residences, perched over the southern hotel site, are oriented to capture the most of the sun available whilst also providing views down the gorge with glimpses of Lake Wakatipu. The design of the residences needed to compliment but contrast the hotel situated below. A contrast in the texture of the façade material skin has been used along with Internally, the use of soft greys, natural limestone and darkened aged oak veneer form the sober, industrial material palette and reference the tones of the surrounding landscape. The use of contrasting tenors of warm and cool materials with tactile differences in texture and appearance provide a sense of familiarity and place within the southern landscape.

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