Kelvin Heights House: A Family Home with Excellent Views of the Lake and Mountains

Kelvin Heights House 10

It is a 2018 award-winning project by Condon Scott Architects located in Queenstown. Kelvin Heights House is designed as a family home that offers a variety of internal and external spaces to enjoy the excellent views of the lake and mountains.


Kelvin Heights House 1

Kelvin Heights House 2

Kelvin Heights House 3

This house sits on a steeply sloping site overlooking Lake Wakatipu, seeking to capitalize on the views of the lake and mountains. There are some complexities of a steep escarpment that cuts the site diagonally in two.

The project’s challenges come from the site’s steepness, not only from a construction perspective but also control envelope that limits the heights of the roof form.



Kelvin Heights House 4

Kelvin Heights House 5

Kelvin Heights House 6

Kelvin Heights House 7

A series of stepped levels is the main solution for this project’s challenges. These series are within two wedge-shaped forms and are designed to fit under the height-control envelope. There are two wedges in this house: southern and northern wedges.

The southern wedge of the house presents to the street. It has a stepped metal cladding that hints at the level changes. The guest bedrooms can be found in this wedge.

Oriented to the west to the stunning view, the northern wedge has a volume that contains a master bedroom suite and day-to-day living.

A low-roofed element links these two wedges, creating courtyards to provide a sheltered retreat to enjoy the morning sun.



Kelvin Heights House 8

Kelvin Heights House 9

Kelvin Heights House 10

The house is drilled into its site with starter bars driven into the schist stone and the footings to the house’s foundation walls.

It takes almost half of the build time to complete the up-to-slab level construction and ground-works due to the steep terrain. It is difficult to operate machinery in such terrain, especially at the site’s lower level.

The whole excellent views of the lake and mountains can be seen clearly in the living space thanks to the oversized panes of glass that also create a floating illusion over the lake.


Winner – NZIA 2018 Southern Architecture Award

Winner – Master Builders 2018 Gold Award for a New Home ($2m+)

Kelvin Heights House Gallery

Photography: Simon Larkin Photography

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Karin Hoover

Karin Hoover

Total posts created: 3037
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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