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Long and Low Brewer House Tucks Naturally into Hillside

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Located on Roy’s Peninsula on the shores of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, the site of the Brewer House is at the very edge of a glacial escarpment. Surrounded by the New Zealand Southern Alps with views North to Lake Wanaka and West to the Matukituki River, Sarah Scott and Barry Condon of Sarah Scott Architects designed the home to let the contours of the rocky outcrop dictate the shape of the home while still taking advantage of the views. They did this by creating a long and low profile that changes direction as it follows the formations of the land. On one end, the backdoor of the home is tucked behind a vertical plane that appears to be part of the deck tipped upward. This whimsical design feature creates an interesting foil to the walls of glass that look North toward Lake Wanaka. The stepping-stones that wrap this privacy wall tie in with the natural rock outcrops and the low pitch to the roofline lets the building settle casually into its environment. A small outdoor dining area is tucked against the privacy wall on the deck.

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The entry of the home on the other end has the same vertical and horizontal wood treatment. Here the driveway wraps around to the garage with a small set of stepping stones connecting to the front door and another set to the deck that wrapps the home.

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The home is long and narrow and follows the line of the hillside. This approach to the design created 3 distinct zones all connected with a rear corridor allowing the living and two bedroom zones to take advantage of the view to the lake.

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The living and two bedroom zones are covered with a low angled split pitch composition of roof planes allowing the home to settle into its landscape rather then rising above it. Since the home is long and narrow the width of the building and the height of the roofs is kept to a minimum.

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The corridor that connects the 3 zones is filled with natural elements. From the grey stonewall, to the wood flooring and ceiling treatments, it has a strong connection to the hillside that rises behind it.

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The living zone is large and spacious. With an open floor plan and floor to ceiling windows, the living, dining and kitchen areas all have views to each other and to the lake beyond. Natural materials and neutral tones create a space that is both grand and comfortable.

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On the days that the weather permits it, an outdoor lifestyle takes place on the wrap around deck. There is even a covered area for both sun and rain protection.

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Just like the home itself, the driveway is long and narrow and follows the contours of the land.

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Each of the 3 zones has its own wrap around deck.

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The back of the home, where the garage is, tucks into the hillside
Photographs by Mickey Ross

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