Peninsula House - Ben Hudson Architects | ArchiPro

Peninsula House

Peninsula House occupies a tricky site on a rocky outcrop overlooking Lake Wakatipu. This lakeside retreat is a modest, compact home that has a relaxed connection to its environment.

“To reflect the owners’ pragmatic style of living and call for a no fuss, no frills practical house, the home has been designed simply and efficiently, without fuss or excess. The clean, folded geometry of the roofline informs a hierarchy of spaces within and also extends beyond the building envelope to create porch enclosures that frame various views to the lake and mountains and which provide a variety of outdoor spaces for differing climatic conditions,” says Ben Hudson, Director of Ben Hudson Architects.

“The clients, a semi-retired Australian couple from far-north NSW, are ultimately wanting to spend more and more time here and wanted a warm, efficient house. The location is a semi-alpine, greenfield site in a small, newish sub-division with stunning views over the Frankton arm of Lake Wakatipu.

“There were a number of constraints, including using a palette of natural materials, height restriction and roof pitch, as well as ensuring the roofing, cladding and glazing did not exceed specific light reflectance values—nothing unusual for Queenstown—so we went back to basics in terms of solar efficiencies and plan. The site, which is rocky and sloping, largely informed the footprint and size of the house resulting in a compact design incorporating living areas to the north and service areas to the south, with a simple circulation through the centre.”

The monopitch roof mimics the slope of the surrounding topography serving to bed the structure into the landscape while the use of cedar cladding matches the tones of the rocks and grasses.

“The clients wanted the landscape to be the hero and were keen to use cedar. The vertical shiplap cladding lends itself to the forms we came up with. The floor level has been designed around existing ground levels, bedded into the existing contours of the land to integrate its relationship with the landscape.

“Careful attention has been paid to proportion and roof pitch so that the whole reads as a simple, uncluttered architectural form that is in keeping with its surroundings.”

A separate garage—connected to the main house via a covered link and a service area—hunkers into the sloping site and has been softened with drifts of native tussocks that integrate it with the existing landform. Windows and doors have been recessed into the facade and have been carefully articulated to be proportionate with the elevations.

“Part of the process of ensuring the clients had the warm, efficient house they envisaged was designing the home to passive haus principles. This included looking carefully at the thermal envelope and setting the thermally broken joinery back onto the thermal line.

“Inclusions such as the rigid air barrier, double insulation, underfloor heating and an air transfer system, keep the house airtight and warm. Meanwhile, pockets of outdoor spaces, designed to be used at different times of the day and in varying climatic conditions, allow the clients to follow the sun through different spaces throughout the day.”

Ben says that while the house is not particularly large—coming in at 193 sqm—the considered design has resulted in a home of generous proportions. “The clients didn’t want it to feel like an ‘old person’s’ home—all pokey spaces and unable to easily adapt to their future needs.”

“The site is quite generous, being 1500 sqm, and the subdivision has been set up to maintain privacy. While there are some view shafts over other properties, the topography and the design allowed us to minimise this.

“The overriding philosophy was to deliver a design that was ‘naturally belonging’; to create a building that grows from the landscape and complements the site.The home has been designed in a simple, uncomplicated style and utilises natural materials, which are appropriately recessive and complementary of the local context, to deliver a house that ultimately lets the landscape come to the fore.”

Words by: Justin Foote

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Peninsula House occupies a tricky site on a rocky outcrop overlooking Lake Wakatipu. This lakeside retreat is a modest, compact home that has a relaxed connection to its environment.
To reflect the owners’ pragmatic style of living and call for a no fuss, no frills practical house, the home has been designed simply and efficiently, without fuss or excess.
The clean, folded geometry of the roofline informs a hierarchy of spaces within and also extends beyond the building envelope to create porch enclosures that frame various views of the lake and mountains.
Careful attention has been paid to proportion and roof pitch so that the whole reads as a simple, uncluttered architectural form that is in keeping with its surroundings.
The clients wanted the landscape to be the hero and were keen to use cedar. The vertical shiplap cladding lends itself to the geometric house forms.
The overriding philosophy was to deliver a design that was ‘naturally belonging’; to create a building that grows from the landscape and complements the site.
Part of the design stipulations for the subdivision included ensuring the roofing, cladding and glazing did not exceed specific light reflectance values.
Windows and doors have been recessed into the facade and have been carefully articulated to be proportionate with the elevations.
The site, which is rocky and sloping, largely informed the footprint and size of the house resulting in a compact design incorporating living areas to the north and service areas to the south.
The monopitch roofline mimics the slope of the surrounding topography serving to bed the structure into the landscape while the use of cedar cladding matches the tones of the rocks and grasses.

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