Glass and steel Remarkables Base building with mono-pitch roof by architect Michael Wyatt

Clean and simple cafe, shelter and ski-hire building on Remarkables with alpine aesthetic and large decks

The dramatic new Remarkables Base Building designed by leisure, leisure centre, structure, black
The dramatic new Remarkables Base Building designed by architect Michael Wyatt is warm, welcoming, and close to the recently opened Curvey Basin chairlift and even closer to the learners slope.

The Remarkables Base Building by architect Michael Wyatt appears simple in form, but its clean lines meet several needs from the rooftop down.

Built in triangular shape, the building comprises a basement with plant, the entry lobby with ski-hire at ground level and the open-plan upper floor centred around food and beverage counters. Three decks nearly double the main level's 1700m² floor area.

"Terrain, weather, views, and convenience all contributed to shaping this building," says Wyatt.

"We located the site on good ground for a stable foundation, positioned to take in great views of the mountains in all directions.

The new Remarkables Base Building by architect Michael alps, arctic, cloud, geological phenomenon, glacial landform, glacier, ice, mountain, mountain range, piste, sky, snow, winter, winter sport, gray
The new Remarkables Base Building by architect Michael Wyatt is over three levels a basement with plant, an entry lobby and ski-hire level and the uppermost refreshment level that looks out to the slopes in all directions.

"A classic alpine 30° pitch roof to shed snow would have been disproportionately tall on this modest scale," says the architect. "So instead we went for a gentler 5° gradient on a mono-pitch roof, coupled with heated guttering to avoid ice forming."

The rising roofline, fin-like air vents and peaked chimney all combine to echo the mountains behind. A zig-zag line between the metal cladding and glass furthers this idea, as does the exposed metal frame.

"It was the building's internal pipe space frame that gave us free range on positioning the cladding, too, as the latter is easily attached anywhere on the steel structure. This in turn allowed us complete design freedom to place the double glazing for engagement with decks, skiers, and slopes."

And the windows also reach up to the roof at the building's highest point leading the eye out and up to the nearby slopes. At the lower, wide end of the triangle, a lower-ceilinged space looks the other way, to distant mountains.

The jutting air vents and chimney, pointed roofline, alps, arctic, atmosphere of earth, cloud, fell, geological phenomenon, glacial landform, mountain, mountain range, mountainous landforms, piste, ski equipment, sky, snow, tourism, vacation, winter, gray, teal
The jutting air vents and chimney, pointed roofline, zigzagging facade and steel structure all call to mind the spectacular mountain setting.

"The weather impacted every aspect of this design," says Wyatt. "However, with three decks, there is almost always a sheltered outdoor seating option. Clear balustrades help, too, without impeding views. The outlooks from indoors are also clear, with air returns preventing condensation from cooking and hot skiers building up on the windows."

And despite the soaring spaces and glass walls, perforated ceilings keep a lid on noise.

Credit list

Michael Wyatt, Michael Wyatt Architect
Kingspan wall and roof systems; precast concrete, from Stresscrete Southland; structural steel, from Action; and glass, from Remarkable Glass
Arrow International
Doors and windows
Aluminium doors and windows, by Vistalite; internal doors, windows and fire doors by Hallmark
Queenstown Signs

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Esther Small

10 May, 2016

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