Solitude and scenic beauty are the dream combination for hoteliers and proprietors, but when the scenery is out-of-this-world stunning, it can also pose a unique problem. How does one design a holiday stay that feels in harmony with its natural surroundings, but also creates the impression that the building is a destination in its own right? For anyone pondering the issue, Lindis Lodge, in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, provides the blueprint for this delicate design dance.
Christopher Kelly, principal architect at Architecture Workshop, approached the design of Lindis Lodge with an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude. “The vast glacial landscape is the precedent for the building,” Christopher says. The property – a five-bedroom luxury lodge in the remote and glacial Ahuriri Valley – draws inspiration from the imposing grandeur of the landscape. The roof contours – made from Spotted Gum hardwood lamella – is designed to mimic the weaves and folds of the valley.
The property has all the trappings of a five-star resort, but the biggest luxury at Lindis Lodge is the opportunity to quietly enjoy – in comfort and complete solitude – its striking 2700-hectare surrounds.
Both the exteriors and interiors at Lindis Lodge don’t subscribe to the archetypal cabin style. Any opportunities to showcase a unique view or nod to the unspoiled vastness of the area, from the window framing to the curvature of the building itself, were jumped upon. “I saw this as an opportunity to create something special rather than a standard American lodge, which has its appeal, but both the building and the experience is different here,” Christopher says.
“I saw this as an opportunity to create something special rather than a standard American lodge.”
To temper the extreme climate range (it can get as hot at 35 degrees celsius in summer and minus 16 degrees celsius in winter) a series of sustainable solutions were introduced to the site. A geothermal heat pump system provides heating and hot water, while an energy efficient hydronic underfloor heating system along with insulated roofing regulates the temperature. Potable water is filtered through from the on-site bore and rainwater harvesting system.
The property has all the trappings of a five-star resort, complete with a grand billiard room, elegant bedrooms and living spaces, even a private chef, but the biggest luxury at Lindis Lodge is the opportunity to quietly enjoy – in comfort and complete solitude – its striking 2700-hectare surrounds.
Photography by Patrick Reynolds
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