Drift Bay House / Kerr Ritchie Architects

Architects: Kerr Ritchie Architects
Location: Queenstown,
Project year: 2007
Contractor: Barker Construction
Constructed Area: 280 sqm
Photographs: Paul McCredie


This family home was designed as a single fluid form that reclines into the sloping landscape on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. The long black form shifts and expands to suit the sun, the occupants’ needs and the site.

The entry is through a hole punched in the middle creating a courtyard. This allows visitors to enter either the family home to the north or the studio/guest wing to the south. The main house pulls away from an eastern bank, to provide courtyards sheltered from the prevailing wind and summer sun. It then expands upwards to form a double level maximising the northern sun. The house rises up again to the studio, at the tail, before snaking back towards the sun and the north.

The roof and walls of the house are primarily clad in black steel. However, where the occupants move in and out of the house, to the north, south elevations and the entry, the steel is replaced with softer timber boards.

The interior is intended to have the resilience of an institutional building. Robust floors to collect the sun, profiled insitu walls and Strandboard are softened with a shiny plastic glowing screen wall and plastic light fittings. Space shifts, as well as form, up and down to create spaces that move from snug to lofty and back again.

Cite: "Drift Bay House / Kerr Ritchie Architects" 18 Nov 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Nov 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=9000>