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The Oculus






Renders by Condon Scott Architects

Located on an elevated site overlooking the rural area of Dalefield, just outside Queenstown, this high-end home provides an opportunity for the Sydney based home-owners to trade their busy city lifestyle for a tranquil, alpine retreat. With a panorama of sweeping mountain views captured at every angle, this home maximises on the locale and luxurious comfort.

The home’s architectural form consists of two, floating horizontal planes, their suspended appearance accentuated with full height glazing. These planes extend beyond the boundaries of the walls, creating deep eaves and protection from the sun’s glare. A solid concrete, vertical spine wall visually anchors the linear planes and continues throughout the interior structure of the home. This wall was integrated into the design to provide protection from a persistent southerly wind that funnels through the site.

In response to the gently sloping site, the home has been designed as split levels, with a garage and gym on the lower level, and the upper level containing the sleeping and living spaces.

At birds-eye, the upper level of the home is virtually square in form, with rooms strategically placed around a central courtyard; affectionately termed ‘The Oculus’. Featuring a large deciduous tree, ‘The Oculus’ has a circular exterior opening, allowing sunlight to permeate through and become a space sheltered from the elements, year-round. ‘The Oculus’ is inward focused and contemplative, with the focus towards the open void to the sky. The idea was drawn from creating soft curved shadows in the space; a complete contrast to the busy living area, with its floor-to-ceiling glazing and huge panoramic view.

Strong interior materiality continues from the exterior palette. Linear board-marked concrete walls and smooth, polished flooring provide an appealing visual contrast, while feature timber walls and ceilings create a sense of warmth and homeliness.