Location: Wakatipu Basin, New Zealand
Client: The Hills Trust
Architect: Patterson Associates Limited
Project Manager: Douglas Consulting
Structural Engineer: Tyndall & Hanham
Mechanical Engineer: Professional Building Services
Electrical Engineer: Pedersen Read
Landscape Architect: Darby Partners
Quantity Surveyor: Ian Harrison and Associates
Contractor: RBJ Limited
Photography: Simon Devitt, Matthew Williams
The brief articulated the client’s desire for a place that reinforced the game of golf, operating primarily as a “private box”, but with the capacity to transform into a gateway headquarters for large competitive events.
New Zealanders’ identity is defined by landscape, and our cultural heritage is depicted in Maori mythology as a people borne of the land and the sky. This is the cultural view of the Science of geology and tectonic uplift.
Hunkered into the earth with less than a third of its volume penetrating above the ground plane, The Michael Hill Clubhouse seeks to integrate and intensify the experience of golf’s primary relationship with the landscape.
An integral truss system creates a skewed form, and supports a green roof planted in native tussock. Systems of energy, water, waste, and climate control are almost entirely contained on the site.
An even greater environmental contribution is the building’s strategy in sustaining the qualities of the alpine landscape. The Clubhouse seeks to integrate with the panoramic vista, rather than form a node on it.
A skewed trapezoid geometry operates as three-dimensional spatial building blocks to define the volumes within the building, and the building within the landscape. This pattern is repeated across all scales, weaving the building into a three-dimensional matrix.
Inside, a glass-reinforced concrete panel ceiling, with integrated heating and acoustic design, hovers above white dimpled textured aluminium forms. The main bar and dining space is an intimate light-filled grandstand overlooking the 18th green.
Buried further back into the ground are service areas, workshops, and cart storage. A large private gym is flanked by a reflecting pond, where you can exercise before being massaged in one of the two bespoke colour therapy rooms making up the spa.
The design creates a model of its environment, both cultural and physical. In doing so the building seeks to become a pattern within the environment, amplifying and reinforcing the relationships between player, game, and land.