Located between Lake Hayes Estate and Shotover Country neighbourhoods, Queenstown Country Club at Ladies Mile, Queenstown, New Zealand comprises over 230 private villas and apartments, a rest home and dementia care – but that’s where the similarities to the traditional model end.
A civic space provides a lively heart to the wider residential area and the proposed retail centre, adjacent to the café, gym and pool, will contain services such as a florist, pharmacy, hairdressing salon and boutique bar. A clubhouse and medical centre are also part of the mix.
A central piazza is intended to be used for farmers markets and community events so the general public will have many opportunities to engage with the facility. Also planned is a childcare centre which will broaden the generational strata even further.
The Clubhouse has a visible position on Ladies Mile and its symmetrical gable and recessive colours share the style of notable buildings in the vicinity such as the nearby Amisfield Winery.
The 51-hectare estate is located within a Special Housing Area and a percentage of the properties within the development have been set aside to help address the district’s housing supply and affordability issues.
The variety of private villa types on offer are oriented for maximum sunlight and each typology provides private outdoor space.
When it is completed, the Queenstown Country Club will fill a real need for graduated retirement living in the area, providing a resort-like lifestyle as well as wraparound aged care.
Buildings of different scale and geometries are linked by laneways and courtyards to create defined public, private and semi-public areas.
The result is a development that steers clear of a monolithic imposition on the landscape with a mix of building forms that creates visual interest. Situated on a prominent site on the approach road to Queenstown, it was important that the architecture embrace the regional vernacular. Respect is paid to local forms and materials.
Gabled and pavilion-style buildings work well within the dramatic alpine environment and reflect the design of neighbouring properties. Natural materials such as stone and timber feature strongly but, rather than sliding into a pastiche of the local style, elements have been translated in a contemporary way.
The project, set for completion in 2020 is the first of its kind in the Wakatipu Basin that will not only offer local retirees the option to stay in the region, but challenges the social thinking behind facilities of this nature, creating a multi-generational model that integrates rather than segregates.