Family home plus holiday rental

Multi Unit home in Remarkables View development

When we design a home, we like to consider multiple uses and different stages of life that the owners will go through. For this Queenstown home overlooking the lake, we were designing a family home that the owners can enjoy on their own or with friends and family visiting. With Queenstown being a popular tourist destination, we made the most of the hillside section by also incorporating a holiday rental unit that is sure to be in high demand.

The Brief

Two out of three ain't bad, as the saying goes. For this project, however, we were able to satisfy all three specific requests that came up in our briefing discussions with the client.

The first request was for us to make the most of the steep section and the remarkable views that come with it.

The next query was whether we could fit a family home as well as a rental unit on the site. And finally, could we do something unique that didn't look like every other house built on a hill in Queenstown? It was a yes on all three accounts!

The Design

The allure of Queenstown is its alpine landscape, so many of our projects there involve steep, hillside sections. We always start by considering two key aspects – where is the best access to the site, and how can we maximise the views from the property?

For the main family home here we have double garage access from the road on the high side of the site. As you come in the front door, you enter a double-height space that's raised to bring in as much light as possible. It's a magnificent visual greeting as you enter the home, before you step down into the living area, dining room and kitchen.

Outside, the extended roofline creates an oversized canopy that juts out and provides shelter over the deck that faces the lake. We've pushed the house out from the hillside as much as possible, making you feel nestled in amongst the trees as you look out the window or from the deck.
From the tall centre core of the home, the house steps down to a single level with decking that wraps around the entire front of the house.

A walkway down the side of the house, past the bedrooms and bathrooms, leads to an additional, fully contained unit on the other side. This can be used as part of the house when friends or family come to stay. Or it can be rented out separately if the owners want to rent it as an Airbnb property.
Designing this as a purpose-built Airbnb unit, we've given it a private entrance and its own small deck. If this unit is rented out, everyone can sit out on the deck and feel somewhat separate from the other occupants.

Throughout the main home and the additional unit, we were very intentional with the materials and textures used. Vertical timber cladding on the exterior blends in beautifully with the natural environment outside.
We've continued with some timber inside the house to provide a continuous flow and to tie all the levels and areas of the home together. Timber on the ceiling over the lounge and over some of the other sitting areas brings a cosy warmth to the living spaces, balanced nicely with the white walls and large windows.
Sitting in the lounge, you can look up and see the same timber lining continuing on the soffit outside, above the deck.

We continued the line between inside and out by using rendered schist at the back of the house and below the decks. This serves practical as well as aesthetic purposes.
The schist cladding anchors the house to the hillside and provides a solid base around the garage. It blends easily into the concrete floor of the garage. The rendered schist is also great to use because it's low maintenance and easy to maintain as an exterior material.

We brought the schist cladding inside and ran it through on a couple of smaller wall sections. It again creates that continuous flow and serves as a pleasant reminder of where you are in the mountains.

The Result

We've ended up with a beautiful home that comfortably suits a family of four. It seamlessly incorporates a self-contained, purpose-built unit on the side that can be rented out as an Airbnb. The addition of a double garage that can be used to store skis and sports equipment makes this home attractive and practical as the owners progress through different stages of family life. The expansive deck that wraps around the full front of the home and the rental unit make the most of the views over the lake as well as the afternoon and evening sun.

There is the indoor-outdoor flow that we Kiwis love, all tied together with the timber and schist that extends between spaces. This is definitely a unique Queenstown architecture design that meets the brief in more ways than one.

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