Nestled in the beautiful landscape of New Zealand’s southern alps, the Alpine Terrace House by Fearon Hay Architects comprises four blackened rectangular buildings set around a central courtyard.
“The initial brief for this project required a sanctuary from which to take in the alpine landscape, one that could engage with views of mountain ranges to all sides while offering protection from the harsh extremes of an alpine terrace,” explains the studio.
Each of the buildings offers views to the landscape beyond. On inclement days the external perimeter can be closed and the courtyard opened to allow movement in and out of the various spaces, on calm days the external perimeter can also be opened, transforming the house into a series of covered spaces open to the mountain vistas.
The programme uses four adjourning buildings to accommodate the various components of the house: a pair of guest rooms and a kitchen designed for social occasions, a dining space flanked by two sittings areas, the master suite, bathroom and library and a reading room with mudroom, coats and garaging. The single-level structures are set on a plinth that begins at ground level next to a graveled arrival court and transitions to a floating ledge above the sloping terrain.
Entry is gained through a glazed volume set between two of the buildings. The enclosure is formed in a palette of timber, steel, metal, and stone, all darkened to a form of homogenous silhouette. Single patched roof planes interact with one another to provide a sculptural terrain.