Alpine Chalet

Alpine Chalet add

This dramatic alteration and addition to an established Queenstown neighbourhood first began life back in the 60s as a showcase home for the newly-minted Kelvin Heights. With views of The Remarkables to the south and Lake Wakatipu to the north the original high-pitched 100 metre square dwelling was touted as an affordable, alpine style home in keeping with its ‘magic location’.

Inspired by the mountain architecture of the Austrian Alps, the chalet-style home was named “Tyrol” and, typical of the era, was uninsulated with fibre cement cladding and a tiled roof containing asbestos. The development it promoted would go on to become New Zealand’s first million-dollar subdivision.

Recently bought as a holiday home with a long-term plan to extend and modernise into a permanent residence, the project took on a new momentum when the owners and their sons decided to leave Wellington and move to Queenstown. Having lived as expats in several countries including Poland and Japan, where houses are built to handle extreme weather, they wanted a home that would be comfortable to live in all year round. For them applying “Passive House” principles and methods was the logical way to go.

Working closely with the homeowners, Sam Connell, of Connell Architecture, devised a plan that would honour the original footprint and structure of the alpine 60s show home, but modify and extend it to become a modern, warm, energy efficient space that fitted into the natural landscape and maximised sun and views…

This is an extract from Issue six of Defign Magazine. For the full renovation story, pick up a copy of Defign magazine at any New World, Countdown, Paper Plus and Relay stores.

Words by Deborah Nation and photography by Graham Warman