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Hidden Island Retreat - a powerful composition of architectural form
Hidden Island Retreat sits at the foot of The Remarkables mountain range in Otago – an impressive backdrop. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
Hidden Island Retreat sits at the foot of The Remarkables mountain range in Otago – an impressive backdrop. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
The house also overlooks Lake Wakatipu, an 80km-long inland lake that is known for its beauty being surrounded by mountains. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
The house also overlooks Lake Wakatipu, an 80km-long inland lake that is known for its beauty being surrounded by mountains. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
A low form, bronze aluminum joinery, cedar cladding and local schist help to blend the house into the surrounding tussock grasslands and rocky outcrops on the 1.272-hectare site. SD
A low form, bronze aluminum joinery, cedar cladding and local schist help to blend the house into the surrounding tussock grasslands and rocky outcrops on the 1.272-hectare site. SD
With a slim profile, the warm roof appears lightweight, yet it is actually covered in gravel, making the house very discreet when seen from the air or from the local skifields. SD.
With a slim profile, the warm roof appears lightweight, yet it is actually covered in gravel, making the house very discreet when seen from the air or from the local skifields. SD.
A natural tarn, or waterway, filters down to a manmade reflection pool below the house. A central courtyard with a fireplace is one of the sheltered outdoor areas around the house. SD.
A natural tarn, or waterway, filters down to a manmade reflection pool below the house. A central courtyard with a fireplace is one of the sheltered outdoor areas around the house. SD.
The spectacular view across the reflection pond to Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
The spectacular view across the reflection pond to Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
The passage to the stairwell to the upper floor, with courtyards on either side. SD
The passage to the stairwell to the upper floor, with courtyards on either side. SD
Looking the other way from under the staircase. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
Looking the other way from under the staircase. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
Floor-to-ceiling glazing at the top of the stairs reveals a view of The Remarkables, The staircase features matt-finished travertine panelling. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
Floor-to-ceiling glazing at the top of the stairs reveals a view of The Remarkables, The staircase features matt-finished travertine panelling. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
The living/dining area looks straight out over the lake and mountains. Photograph: ArchiPro.
The living/dining area looks straight out over the lake and mountains. Photograph: ArchiPro.
The dining and living area looks out to Lake Wakatipu. A natural palette of schist, timber and stone helps to blend the interior in with the surrounding landscape. AP.
The dining and living area looks out to Lake Wakatipu. A natural palette of schist, timber and stone helps to blend the interior in with the surrounding landscape. AP.
A second lounge area appears to float over the refection pond. A double-sided schist fireplace warms up the spacious open-plan living areas. Photograph: ArchiPro.
A second lounge area appears to float over the refection pond. A double-sided schist fireplace warms up the spacious open-plan living areas. Photograph: ArchiPro.
Oak-panelled walls and ceiling adds warmth to the Timaru bluestone flooring and Alexandra schist feature wall. Photograph: ArchiPro.
Oak-panelled walls and ceiling adds warmth to the Timaru bluestone flooring and Alexandra schist feature wall. Photograph: ArchiPro.
The kitchen joinery features engineered American oak, stained with coffee and natural oil, and an island with a light-coloured Corian top. Photograph: ArchiPro.
The kitchen joinery features engineered American oak, stained with coffee and natural oil, and an island with a light-coloured Corian top. Photograph: ArchiPro.
The kitchen overlooks a central courtyard. Photograph: ArchiPro.
The kitchen overlooks a central courtyard. Photograph: ArchiPro.
Travertine, schist and timber create a dramatic corridor. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
Travertine, schist and timber create a dramatic corridor. Photograph: Simon Devitt.
A bedroom on the lower floor has a calm neutral colour palette, making the most of the view of the lake and mountains. Photograph: ArchiPro.
A bedroom on the lower floor has a calm neutral colour palette, making the most of the view of the lake and mountains. Photograph: ArchiPro.
A night view of Hidden Island Retreat sitting beneath the mountains. The main driveway can be seen lit up on the left.  Photograph:  Simon Devitt. 
A night view of Hidden Island Retreat sitting beneath the mountains. The main driveway can be seen lit up on the left.  Photograph:  Simon Devitt. 
A night view of the house in the landscape, as seen from the driveway as you approach the house.  Photograph:  Simon Devitt.
A night view of the house in the landscape, as seen from the driveway as you approach the house.  Photograph:  Simon Devitt.
The context plan shows Hidden Island Retreat in relation to the mountains and the adjoining properties. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
The context plan shows Hidden Island Retreat in relation to the mountains and the adjoining properties. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
The Hidden Island Retreat site plan shows the arrangement of two forms with a bridge inbetween. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
The Hidden Island Retreat site plan shows the arrangement of two forms with a bridge inbetween. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
The lower-level and upper-level floor plans of Hidden Island Retreat. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
The lower-level and upper-level floor plans of Hidden Island Retreat. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
The roof plan for Hidden Island Retreat with a living roof on top of the central bridge with a passage underneath. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
The roof plan for Hidden Island Retreat with a living roof on top of the central bridge with a passage underneath. Drawing by Mason and Wales Architects.
Section drawings by Mason and Wales Architects.
Section drawings by Mason and Wales Architects.

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Mason & Wales Architects is an award-winning Registered New Zealand Institute of Architects practice based in the South Island of New Zealand.

Mason & Wales is the first Architectural practice in the country, founded in 1863 by William Mason, the first Architect to live and work in New Zealand and the first Mayor of Dunedin.

During its history the firm has been responsible for the design of a large number of notable buildings throughout New Zealand, and has established valued relationships with clients, consultants and contractors alike.

Mason & Wales work with clients from all over the world on a range of projects of all sizes and types, including Master Planning, Institutional, Hospitality, Commercial, Multi-Residential, Houses and Interiors.

The team works collectively from their Dunedin office, and from Queenstown and Wanaka, with a commitment to making a positive contribution to the built environment. Mason & Wales designs and delivers architecture which strives to be enduring and sustainable to enrich the lives of our clients and the community.

Mason & Wales have built a reputation on the enduring principles of quality, value and professionalism, which is evident in their portfolio of completed work.