This dramatic residence called 'River Ridge' imports the Canadian vernacular of log construction to Central Otago — embodying the idea of a hunting lodge where family and friends can gather around the roaring fire in the Grand Room and tell stories about the day’s adventures.
Pioneer Log Homes BC built the house frame in Canada out of two 300-year-old Western Red Cedar logs and then shipped the frame to New Zealand for assembly and fit-out. The kiwi ex-pat homeowner explains that the most complex part of the project was working with the timber frame, which is designed to settle and allow for that movement in the assembly.
Inspired by the log homes in Whistler and Colorado, the unfamiliar technology provided a challenge for local builders, a challenge they met with enthusiasm: the care and the skill shines through. The fireplace, the heart of the house, was a highlight — the hearth was handmade by site manager Karl Boomsma built with "an eye to detail and considerable care."
The homeowner’s favourite feature is the Spatherm XL wood fireplace that he describes as a "human happiness magnet," saying "the fireplace looks amazing even when it’s not on, and when it is, you can’t keep people away." He continues, "seeing the fire through the large clear window on a cold night, with a nice fur rug and a hot drink after a day’s skiing with family and friends cannot be beaten."
Property available for rent via Release Wanaka
Photographer: Nick Frame