Modest Alpine House Becomes One with The Landscape

The Southern Alps stretch along New Zealand’s South Island and create some pretty amazing views which add to the local vernacular and make projects like this one unique and extraordinary. This is a house designed and built by Ben Hudson Architects in 2018. It’s organized into two main volumes connected by the entrance area and it serves as a cozy family home for four.

The two pavilions feature single pitch roofs which mimic the surrounding topographyView in gallery
The two pavilions feature single pitch roofs which mimic the surrounding topography

The owners wanted it to be able to blend into the landscape and to complement the site as well as everything else around it. The architects looked for inspiration in the traditional designs of the agricultural buildings in the vicinity but ultimately chose a contemporary aesthetic, one which allows the house to remain modest and to look natural.

The house is intentionally modest and a simple, a strategy designed to help it blend into the landscapeView in gallery
The house is intentionally modest and a simple, a strategy designed to help it blend into the landscape
Large windows and big openings connect the internal spaces to the vast outdoor areasView in gallery
Large windows and big openings connect the internal spaces to the vast outdoor areas
The overall architecture and design of the house were inspired by the rural vernacular and the topographyView in gallery
The overall architecture and design of the house were inspired by the rural vernacular and the topography
One of the pavilions houses the social areas and features a wood-burning stoveView in gallery
One of the pavilions houses the social areas and features a wood-burning stove

One of the pavilions houses the private spaces while the other serves as an extended living area. The kitchen, dining room, living area and a study all share a single large volume and feature a mezzanine area above them. A small wood-burning fireplace adds warmth to the social area and and the wooden floors and cedar furniture soften the austere and cold vibe imposed by all the raw concrete. All the earthy colors featured throughout the house have a similar role of harmonizing the decor but also help create a visual connection between the house and its natural environment.

The pavilions are connected by entrance and have similar geometriesView in gallery
The pavilions are connected by entrance and have similar geometries
Large windows throughout the house bring in natural sunlight and expose the spaces to the panoramic viewsView in gallery
Large windows throughout the house bring in natural sunlight and expose the spaces to the panoramic views
The Alpine mountain range serves as a gorgeous backdrop and shields the house from harsh windsView in gallery
The Alpine mountain range serves as a gorgeous backdrop and shields the house from harsh winds
Dark color tones are strategically inserted into the decor in order to create an intimate and comfortable ambianceView in gallery
Dark color tones are strategically inserted into the decor in order to create an intimate and comfortable ambiance
The two primary materials featured throughout the house are concrete and cedar woodView in gallery
The two primary materials featured throughout the house are concrete and cedar wood
The pitched roof allowed a sma;; mezzanine area to be added to the social pavilionView in gallery
The pitched roof allowed a sma;; mezzanine area to be added to the social pavilion
The private functions are all gathered in the second smaller pavilionView in gallery
The private functions are all gathered in the second smaller pavilion
Various outdoor spaces with different functions are scattered all around the houseView in gallery
Various outdoor spaces with different functions are scattered all around the house
The simple and modest design allow the house to establish a sense of belonging and to look natural within the context of the landscapeView in gallery
The simple and modest design allow the house to establish a sense of belonging and to look natural within the context of the landscape