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Tennent + Brown Architects - Turn Point Lodge

Tennent + Brown Architects

Turn Point Lodge

Great Architecture - Choppered in - Tennent + Brown Architects landed their clients lodge softly in Pelourus Sound. The cozy wood fired lofts and separate living pavilion combine in a perfect self sustained retreat. Photovoltaics, rainwater harvesting and solar concious design combine with modern chic and warehouse like solidity of the steel frame construction.

The clients, two French brothers living in Singapore and Shanghai were struck by the outlook and drama of Turn Point.

The block had a designated building site on the southern side overlooking Four Fathoms Bay and in the shade most of the year. Instead the clients were taken by the outlook and drama of a narrow ridge facing northwest overlooking the point and gullies full of Nikau and regenerating broadleaves, up the long reach of the Pelorus Sound.

The challenge of this choice was accessibility. The site was 20m below a precipitous narrow forestry road, which itself was some 2km to the nearest barge landing, and some 50m above the sound. Discussions with David Kepes the selected contractor experienced in working the sounds, focussed on the difficulty and cost of accessing the site for both materials and labour.

It was decided to adopt the strategy of heli-lifting nearly prefinished buildings and subfloor frames to the site to minimise the need for site labour.  

The brief called for a dwelling with separate bedroom /study/bathrooms for each brother and a central living /eating /kitchen space. There was a desire for guest accommodation if affordable. The house would be used once or twice a year, predominantly in summer for the medium term.

The brief suited the heli-lifting strategy suggesting separate buildings of liftable size and weight. The design process thus necessitated an understanding of building mass. This was developed through research with heli-lifting specialists and our engineers. The idea of towers reflected the singular quality of the private spaces and suited the lifting approach. The communal building sits parallel to the water below, and extends out each end providing morning and evening outdoor spaces. These spaces receive sun and shelter from the land and sea breezes, so that the north eastern end is sheltered from the cool morning land breeze running from the south, and vice versa for the blustery afternoon sea breeze. This was created in two halves and winched together once landed on the sub frames.

The occasional use of the buildings and the strong western light and occasional winds, has been responded to with a system of operable and fixed louvers. These louvers, along with cladding of profiled coated aluminium, give the building the appearance of shipping containers and huts sitting on the hillside. The interiors were requested to be white by the clients and the exposed steel work was required for the extreme wind zone and loads exerted during flying.

A great deal of attention was given to the spaces between the buildings with terraces and decking, and retention of existing trees. Electricity is made on demand by a remote diesel generator and photovoltaics, and gas is used for water heating and cooking to minimise electricity loads. Solar hot water was not as suited for the intermittent use, and separate buildings. A biolytix septic tank suited the long periods of no use and rain water is collected from the roofs.

Architect Tennent + Brown Architects
LocationPelourus Sound, marlborough sounds, New Zealand
Project Year 2007


Andrew said…
Fantastic project. The structures seem to touch the ground lightly -which works nicely with the technology of heli-lifting them into place. Nice thorough article.

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