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Alpine retreat

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Enveloped by natural schist walls and solid wood beams and trusses, this lanai is an inviting sanctuary with a cosy, rustic ambience


Outdoor entertaining is an integral part of modern living, but the weather always has the last say – it is, after all, the one element that can't be controlled.

For the owners of this grand country house above Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, the solution was a covered lanai, complete with open fireplace and outdoor kitchen.

Designed by architect Hamish Cameron of Archimedia, who worked with Preston Stevens of 2 Arc Studio, the lanai is wrapped on three sides by schist walls. Schist, a local material, also features in the paving slabs.

Another key feature of the lanai is a complex wood-lined ceiling with exposed beams and trusses – the complexity resulting from the junction of two gabled roof forms at different angles. The beams and trusses are solid Oregon with a 20mm-thick skin of dark-stained Tasmanian oak. Similar materials feature throughout the house, both inside and out.

"While the outdoor room opens up to the magnificent lake and mountain view to the south, it also benefits from the sun on the other side of the house," says Cameron. "The room is open to a wide, glazed circulation passage that runs along the north side of the house."


The open fireplace helps extend the number of days the family can enjoy alfresco dining. The owners say the lanai is a pleasant place to sit even when it is raining.

For ease of catering, the outdoor room is equipped with a benchtop, a large DCS barbecue-grill, an additional hot plate and a dishwasher. There is also a large pass-through to the adjoining kitchen.

First published date: 16 August 2011

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Credit List

Interior designer Marian Wheeler, Wheeler Design Group (San Francisco); Jane Low, Jane Low Design (Auckland)
Structural engineer Lewis Bradford
Builder Gary Burnett, Trevor Ward, Mark Dickson
Cladding and paving Schist from Wakatipu Stone
Barbecue DCS from Outdoor Concepts
Architect Hamish Cameron, Archimedia (Auckland); Preston Stevens, 2 Arc Studio (Queenstown)