Larchwood Heights

A compact 90sqm home intended as a holiday retreat and designed to be converted to a double car garage as part of a future development.

Black steel + Cedar clad forms suspended over terraced parking area with cantilevered deck – dramatises the views of the Remarkables and Frankton Arm. The interior is low maintenance: float finished concrete, ply, tiles + dark tone walls with industrial fittings playing rugged off refined.




Sullivan Hall


Holmes Architecture


Ron Kirk / Streamline


Mike Holmes

A dream Queenstown site for any architect – with an elevated view tucked away at the end of a private cul de sac, overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, this young professional couple intend to build their dream home one day. In the meantime however, a plan was hatched to capitalise on the land by building a small holiday home to rent/occupy. Whilst not based in Queenstown, Holmes Architecture were still able to provide residential architecture, draughtsman and project management services. As such, the building has been designed to integrate into a larger future project and to be converted to a double garage at that point (a steel portal has been installed in the front elevation and the suspended concrete floor designed to take car parking).

With the site sloping steeply away from the street, a driveway terrace was formed as a platform for the entrance of the building to perch on while the main structure of the building is supported on steel braced piles. The roof geometry conforms precisely with the recession plane requirements with a folded hip design at the furthest point from the ground – culminating in a dramatic mono-pitch at the front. This elevation as viewed on approach takes in stunning views of the Remarkables and the lake with the severe black mono-pitch relating well to the rugged peaks beyond.

The interior is industrial and low maintenance with float finished concrete floors, ply, tiles and industrial fittings and furniture. The paint scheme is a combination of dark and earthy hues with the clear ply and trim creating an inviting internal retreat. Skylights and the pitched ceiling over the living area creates a generous volume, off-setting the compact floor area with the addition of the loft space adding flexibility to the function of the building.

Mike was a wonderful professional to work with. He has a fantastic style and flare for interesting and different architecture.

Clean lines, industrial feel, minimal. He saw our ideas and made them happen on paper and then in the build. He was great at communicating, sorting things out for us in a timely manner, and had excellent problem-solving skills if anything cropped up as it usually does when building. We were seeing all of this happen from afar not living in Queenstown, so the process was difficult but Mike made it super easy and the result is really great! Mike was our architect and project manager for this small holiday house (stage 1 of a stage 2 project). We are absolutely chuffed with the result!

– Anna Rowe



Regional Winner / National Finalist: Category 1, Compact New Home


Regional Winner / National Finalist: Category 6, Residential Interiors