St Arnaud Bach

Hidden amongst secluded bush in St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes National Park is an elegant bach. Rising two levels it nestles amongst the Kanuka and Beech trees and looks over them to the St Arnaud Range to the east.

Designed to reflect the simple neighbouring baches, the form is a simple gabled end roof with board and batten cladding. However, a sense of wonder is achieved with the glass encased central staircase and the spectacular viewing window to the St Arnaud Range. The deck opens to the sun and light to the north west and is covered by the gable roof for use in all weather.

The sense of fun continues with a delightful mezzanine bedroom overlooking the living room for overflow space for visitors.

The site is sloping, covered in regenerating native trees and on a gravel base. We took great care choosing allocation for the house on the site that minimised the impact on the property. A limited number of trees were removed for the construction. The Bach almost disappears into its beautiful setting.

The client’s brief was for a simple, comfortable bach as a retreat from city living. Sun, views and light were essential as well as a sturdy design with low maintenance.

We designed a simple bach that delights. The entry leads upstairs to a panoramic view of the tree canopy before moving into the living room and the framed view of the spectacular St Arnaud Range.

The interior is ply clad and rich with warmth, perfect for nestling in during those cold St Arnaud winters.

Light and sun is maximised with the vaulted ceiling and upper level windows capturing views and sunlight.

The materials were chosen to fit into the natural setting, reflet the local bach vernacular and for hard-wearing low maintenance in the alpine setting.

Stained cedar board and batten cladding allows the bach to merge into its environment. The zincalume corrugated iron roof is simple and low maintenance. The ply lined interiors are robust, simple and add warmth to the interiors.

Construction of the bach was straightforward with simple, careful detailing belying a deceptively simple form.

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