Copper House

Photographer: Marina Matthews



2016 Southern Architecture Awards Winner

‘With its faceted planes and copper surfaces this house appears sculpted from the land. It is a home of discovery, texture and personality. Inside, the pared-back palette favours timber, which creates an atmosphere of warmth and softness that plays off against the stone that anchors the house to the hillside. Despite its size, this is a welcoming and luxurious house. The sculptural form of the exterior flows inside as spaces expand and contract, shifting and guiding you to new perspectives of the expansive views. Thoroughly well-crafted, the Copper House is a celebration of light and form, and an illustration of the confident spatial mastery of the architect.’ NZIA

The brief was for a house that challenged the client, a house reflective of the area. A holiday home for two people or to accommodate 12 people, to be long lasting for them, their children and their children’s children. The site is steep, rising about 15m from east to west, built on rock overlooking Lake Wakatipu with spectacular views of the mountains. The design is a response to the materiality and glacial formation of the site, it wraps and folds across the slope whereby creating spaces within that are accentuated by growing, shrinking and directing views. It is a building carved into the hillside. Local stone forms the plinth on which the house sits upon, as of the ground, clad in copper, the building is allowed to weather, changing and blending into the site over time. The interiors a mix of raw materials of timbers adding warmth, juxtaposed with hard and solid stone, a reminder of the site and location. A series of stairs wind up through the building changing the dynamic of the interiors, they are either solid like boulders or open through like stepping stones. The interiors are a play on spatial dynamics, opening up and closing down as one meanders through the building. An enclosed courtyard to the west carved into the hill provides shelter from the wind, a structured space within which to retreat.

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