Amisfield Winery & Bistro
This Queenstown-district winery (Amisfield Winery & Bistro, Lake Hayes) is sited on a west facing, elevated plateau, set back from the edge of Lake Hayes and oriented about the distant view of Coronet Peak.
The building acts as ‘front of house’ for the brand, and its design fuses traditional Central Otago material and building forms with a contemporary interior and outdoor dining experience. The powerful surrounding landscape has implied a building of comparable substance, which has in turn been sited such that it sits in the land rather than on it. It was seen from the outset as essential that the building demonstrate respect for the natural environment as well as for the local architectural vernacular.
The brief was for a building employing traditional materials and techniques appropriate to the region. The resulting 3-level structure sets an underground wine cellar below a double height volume for wine tasting, sales, events and intimate dining, the latter structured with large scale recycled timber trusses and addressing a retained outdoor courtyard fenced by vines. The roof space at the rear of the plan conceals the Private Dining Room. The building’s crouching form is clad in local schist and topped by a steep copper roof. The signature gabled end develops a 4.5m high window facing Lake Hayes and the mountains beyond.
A rectangular courtyard with an outdoor fireplace and long reflecting pool opens off the main level. Walls extend out from the building and disappear into the rising ground, integrating the building with the landscape and blurring boundaries between constructed and natural forms.
A welcoming silhouette in the Queenstown landscape, the building seeks to embody substance and integrity through carefully considered use of natural materials – in this case Glenorchy schist, recycled hardwood, sand sheet copper. A refined take on traditional building forms give the project permanence and strength, anchors it to the site and results in an enduring structure clearly capable of withstanding the elements of Central Otago.