Rugged home inspired by mountain setting

Through design form, orientation and a strong material palette, this long, low-set home makes the most of its dramatic alpine setting in every way

Designed by Barry Connor, Barry Connor Design

From the architectural designer:

Project description

Located in the quiet back area of Twizel this alpine retreat sits within the neighbouring shadow of the Ben Ohau range.

A modest and peaceful retreat were the only requirements of the relatively open design brief from the owners who were looking for a relaxed and informal entertaining home to spend time with friends and family and soak in the location’s big skies and big landscapes.

The brief called for a modest, single storey easy care dwelling of simple, classic design elements with a modern interpretation, these were some of the requirements but essentially the brief was open, understated and trusted.

The site is framed on two sides by residential properties and bounded by access roads on the others.

With expansive outlooks to the Ben Ohau range and an historic farming station to the north, the orientation of the design was naturally towards the sunlight and views.

Sitting confidently and privately on the site, the home's front elevation is raised towards the mountains to provide spectacular views from the main living areas.

So privacy is maintained but views can be captured, the house is set back from the street access. This allows the design to take advantage of the year round morning sun and creates a home that feels nestled into the Ben Ohau landscape.

Design features and creative solutions

The dwelling’s simple long barn form sits long-side to the mountain view and is positioned to provide uninterrupted views to all the main living areas and the two master bedrooms suites that flank the main body of the house.

The form of the building is simple with a long gable framed barn through the centre and monopitched wings to the North and South.

The main living, kitchen and dining spaces are located to the front and open out to the main view. Guest bedrooms, laundry and utility spaces sit behind and frame the driveway access to the rear of the house.

The main guest bedroom has access to the rear entry courtyard and the latter provides for a sheltered outdoor area away from the prevailing winds.

Centred around the outdoor wood fired pizza fire, the evening terrace is sheltered enough to feel cosy in winter but opens out to soak in the views of the sunset on the spectacular mountain range.

Floor to ceiling glazing and large sliding doors to the north elevation allow the house to open up, maximising potential for natural light and ventilation and create a strong visual connection to the mountain landscape.

Dark stained vertical cedar frames the main body of the house combined with gable end accents and feature walls of Schist stone to create a solid and defined house. This simple palette allows the landscaping to shine while the dark stained timber reflects the natural hues of the neighbouring range.

Credit list

Architectural designer
Debbie Rimmer Landscapes
Eurostyle Eurolok, by Roofing Industries
Main flooring
Polished concrete
In-slab heating
Frost and Sons
Vertical shiplap cedar, by Rosenfeld Kidson; stone feature Cladding, by Hard as Rocks
Window/door joinery
Nulook Canterbury
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Designed by: Barry Connor Design

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Dennis Radermacher

14 Feb, 2021

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