Wānaka S.K.I House by Roberts Gray Architects

Words by Millie Thwaites
Photography by Sam Hartnett
In Partnership with Fisher & Paykel

Wānaka S.K.I House by Roberts Gray Architects is a holiday home for a multigenerational family in the Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island.

Over the past two decades, the owners of Wānaka S.K.I House have witnessed the ongoing densification and evolution of Wānaka from a quaint holiday town to a bustling and increasingly urban area. Their previous home no longer made sense of the site and its changing context; however, given their resolute emotional connection, they engaged Roberts Gray Architects to conceive a new dwelling that would facilitate another era of life in this much-loved place.

In response to the site’s contrasts, the architects designed the home as a series of solid forms and free-flowing outdoor spaces encased in a lightweight screen. Guest bedrooms with individual courtyards sit to the west, and there is an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area facing a lawned area at the rear.

The kitchen has been designed to work hard; it offers a high level of amenity yet ultimately feels informal and welcoming. Each element has been considered as part of the architecture, namely, the Fisher & Paykel Column Refrigerator and Freezer, which are both integrated into custom oak cabinetry, creating valuable visual continuity and calm.

The backyard condition, which was inspired by the layout of the previous home, speaks to the clients’ love of Wānaka and, more specifically, this exact site. Jimmy says it “maintains the neighbourly connection” and is a reflection of the “true open-door policy” that’s long been embraced in the area.

Architecture and interior design by Roberts Gray Architects. Build by Level Construction. Landscape design by Jared Lockhart Design. Engineering by Constructure. Joinery by Wānaka Cabinetree. Lighting design by iLight. Brickwork by Wānaka Brick & Block. Appliances by Fisher & Paykel.