• Striking southern holiday home wins NZIA Award

    28 February 2012

    This stunning residential property, known as Shotover House is located in Queenstown, known to many as ‘The Adventure Capital of the World’ and has recently triumphed in the Southern Architecture Awards, a component of the New Zealand Architecture Awards, the official, peer-reviewed awards programme of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA). 

    Designed by Thom Craig Architects Ltd., the house is sited on an enviable 10,000 square metre piece of land and enjoys expansive views over the Shotover Valley. Wrapped in a cedar skin that includes the roof and walls, Shotover House is an undulating, triangulated structure with windows and doors cut out of its timber facade and roofscape. It sits against a rocky cliff, moulding into the cut of the hill under soaring mountains in the background. 

    Architect Thom Craig stated, “I was influenced by these dramatic formations as well as the braided Shotover River running below the site. It’s a daring house in its form and materiality and I was only able to take the concept in this direction because I had already gained the confidence of the clients from designing a previous home for them in Christchurch.” 

    “I was attracted to the braided river and how it fractures and intertwines and wanted to explore the opportunity of mimicking how the home could do the same by fracturing in both plan and section, like the river below. The seamless timber surface is a ‘continuation’ of the ground plane wrapping up over the building to mirror the ‘singular homogenous mass’ of the surrounding mountains.”

    The NZIA jury stated, “This subtle yet striking holiday home exhibits a deep understanding of landscape context and the ethos of retreat. Set respectfully back from the edge of an old river terrace, the folded form, clad with cedar battens, beautifully reflects textures of the Shotover Valley. This is a house that offers both openness to nature and shelter against the elements.”


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