Coming of age

They may be built for several generations of the same family, but these holiday apartments are a significant departure from the traditional bach
An exterior view of the entire apartment complex. architecture, condominium, facade, house, property, real estate, residential area, villa, gray
An exterior view of the entire apartment complex.

Holiday homes have traditionally provided a retreat for the family a place where everyday routines give way to a more relaxed, easy-going lifestyle. But for most families, staying in a traditional kiwi bach has also meant doing without the luxuries of home.

Today, a new generation of homeowners is looking for a more sophisticated holiday experience but one that can still be shared with family and friends.

It is this demographic that determined the design of The Lordens, a new apartment complex in Queenstown, New Zealand, developed by Graeme Shaw.

"Many American, European and East Coast Australian guests staying in luxury resorts have expressed a desire to buy, not only for their children's futures, but also their grandchildren's," says Shaw.

The brief given to architect Brian Hollis, of Robert Ferguson Architects, required a design that could accommodate extended families holidaying together. Shaw says there was also a need for single-level apartments and uncomplicated floor plans suited to holiday living.

Not surprisingly, maximising the lake and mountain views was a priority. Shaw says although the views are spectacular, the site was challenging, due to its steepness and the large volume of rock that needed to excavated.

"The apartments were designed to step back into the contours of the hill," says architect Hollis.


A view of the kitchen, black tiled floor, countertop, interior design, kitchen, product design, white, gray
A view of the kitchen, black tiled floor, white bar stools, wooden cabinetry, spot lights, stainless steel appliances, stone and stainless benchtops.

"This also enabled us to provide extensive outdoor living areas. These needed to be sheltered and sunny spaces that could be utilised all year round."'

Hollis says environmental factors also determined the provision of sun awnings and the degree of thermal insulation needed for the cold winter climate.

Inside each apartment, a large schist wall with cutouts screens the living area from the entrance, yet allows tantalising glimpses of the views beyond. The cutouts prevent the stone wall from looking too overpowering.

"The schist wall creates an interesting juxtaposition of materials, contrasting the timber and stainless steel that feature prominently in the living spaces," says Hollis. "It is also a visual link with the surrounding geology."

The generously sized, open-plan living spaces are designed to accommodate more than one family. As well as a large living area, there is an adjoining media room, which can be closed off when required.

Interior designer Susie Paynter says the apartment represents a crossover between international, contemporary design and the polished, country look typically associated with Queenstown properties.

"We wanted to convey a sense of both these elements," she says. "Layering the interior with a variety of materials and textures helps achieve this, and also provides the level of comfort needed for a holiday home."

A view of a bathroom, wooden vanity, white bathroom, interior design, real estate, room, window, gray
A view of a bathroom, wooden vanity, white sink and tub, chrome faucetry, large windows, white tiled floor and walls.

Paynter says the interior design started with the selection of a grey-green carpet that echoed the colour of the local bluestone on the terraces and in the entrance.

"Continuing the colour across both surfaces helps create a feeling of space."

Ensuring the interiors didn't detract from the views was also essential. For this reason, the sofas tone with the carpet. Red cushions and a single red chair in each living room add bright accents.

Paynter says the media room is a darker, winter space, hence the fitted carpet and cosy seating arrangement.

Natural, rather than synthetic, fabrics feature throughout the house, and were chosen for their durability and year-round comfort.

Elsewhere white is a dominant colour notably in the large kitchen, which is designed for entertaining. A long island, with a reflective stainless steel base, appears to float within the room. Other reflective surfaces that help lighten the space include a stainless steel bar top, and a large wall mirror. Bifold doors open up the entire space, effectively extending the living area out to the terrace. White also features in the master bedroom and ensuite.

"Service areas, such as bathrooms, are often overlooked in the design process, yet they are rooms that are used a lot," says Hollis. "We wanted to create drama where you would least expect it, hence the extensive glazing and the spectacular view that greets you when you enter the ensuite. The bath is also positioned so the owners can enjoy the view while bathing."

Apr 21, 2006

Credit list

Architect
Brian Hollis, Robert Ferguson, Robert Ferguson Architects (Sydney, NSW)
Interior designer
Susie Paynter, Paynter Design & Management
Quantity surveyor
Maltby’s
Earthworks
Matt Davies Ltd
Facade design and construction
Robert Ferguson Architects and Ede Engineering
Balcony balustrades
Smith & Smith Glass
Lighting
Fabbian Lighting
Kitchen manufacturer
Lloyds Kitchens
Bathroom cabinetry
Lloyds Kitchens
Developer
Graeme Shaw, A Frame Ltd
Civil engineer
Duffill Watts King
Fire consultant
Tansley Electrical
Main contractor
BJ Hill Builders
Window and door joinery
Aitken Joinery
Flooring in living areas
Basalt tiles from ADL Tiling
Audiovisual systems
Ambience Systems
Appliances
Miele
Bathroom tapware
Grohe
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