Drift Bay House

Queenstown, Otago
Location
  • Queenstown, Otago
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Type
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2007
  • Square Feet
  • 3000
  • The 3,000-square-foot home is divided into two parts, linked by an open-air breezeway. To the right, the passage leads to the rear of the home, with a guest bedroom and bathroom and the studio where Kerr and Ritchie base their practice. To the left are the family quarters, including a large combined kitchen, dining, and living area with a small cedar-lined deck stretching northward to the lake. Up two steps is a snug lounge with a log burner, separated from the other living spaces by bookshelves backed with movable panels. The second floor houses three bedrooms and a bathroom, all with big windows facing the lake. On its eastern flank, the home pulls gently away from the slope to create space for a sheltered courtyard that catches the morning sun. There is no formal area for parking cars, so visitors pull up wherever they like at the end of the unsealed driveway and walk up a loose gravel path to the entrance.

    The location on the shores of a small bay means it is sheltered from cold southerly winds. The alpine location provided plenty of inspiration for landscaping, which Ritchie and Kerr elected to keep as minimal as possible, as if the home had landed on its site with as little disturbance or alteration as possible.

    Photo Courtesy of Dwell

    The main living area. The home is flanked on the east by a precipitous mountain range named The Remarkables. In summer, the weather gets hot enough for the family to go swimming and boating.

    Photo Courtesy of Dwell

    The home is mostly clad in black trapezoidal-profile steel, with cedar boards lining what the owners call the “human spaces”—external passages between buildings. A solar hot water system perches on the roof.

    Photo Courtesy of Dwell

    The sunny side of the home is clad in cedar weatherboards and features sleeping quarters on the upper level with living spaces below.

    Photo Courtesy of Dwell

    Queenstown gets cold in winter, hence the installation of a sauna. Outside, the landscaping was kept deliberately casual, with rock walls and gravel paths.

    Photo Courtesy of Dwell

    One bathroom features a ladder that leads up to a yoga studio.

    Photo Courtesy of Dwell

    The home is made up of two parts: a rear wing containing the studio and a guest room, and the north-facing living quarters (which, in the southern hemisphere, attract the most sun) overlooking the lake.

    Photo Courtesy of Dwell
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