Blank Studio Design + Architecture
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Littles Road Residence

Queenstown, New Zealand (2011)

The Littles Road Residence is located on the South Island of New Zealand, minutes north of Queenstown. The house is situated within a grassy plateau on the property that will remain an active grazing area for sheep. The residence has views across the Shotover River to the south and west and is surrounded by expansive mountain views that include Coronet Peak, Cecil Peak, and The Remarkables. 

The residence is organized into three primary components. The house is arranged beneath three linear vaults and it split into two parts with the primary living spaces in the northern portion and the guest suite in the southern zone. These two components bracket a gracious outdoor courtyard area. The entry sequence passes beneath a long vault and into the courtyard zone. This courtyard is lushly planted and stands in contrast to the neatly goat-trimmed grasses surrounding the residence.

Conceptually, the residence is a glazed pavilion set within the grazing field. Separating the house and courtyard from the grassland enclosing it is a unifying wood screen made up of a series of hinged, operable panels each measuring 2.7 meters high by 1.2 meters wide. In a gesture to anchor the project to its place, the panels are composed of a native Blackwood species that has had been water-jet cut in a pattern that abstracts the windswept, delicate grasses blanketing the surrounding hillsides. 

The roof vaults also connect the building to place. The gently folded forms recall the mountainous surroundings or even the tectonic plates that have collided to create this island nation and continue to generate earthquakes experienced throughout the South Pacific. Perhaps one can interpret the vaults as a reflection of the commonly used corrugated iron that clads many utilitarian farm buildings. Regardless, upon approach the building presents an elegant silhouette reminiscent of a noble shed.

Internally the residence’s spaces are organized neatly beneath the vaults and offer a reduced palette of light wood floors and polished white plaster walls and ceilings. Illumination evenly up lights the vaults and emphasizes the unadorned, uninterrupted flow of space beneath the sheltering forms.        


Client: Anne Marek

Status: Design development complete - 2011

Project Team: Chelsea Clark + Maxim Borshchevskiy