The mountains that surround Glenorchy are perhaps the town’s most distinguishing feature. While Mt Earnslaw to the north is the jewel in the crown, the Richardson and Humboldt mountains are significantly closer offering a more personal experience. A central meadow within Camp Glenorchy will be left open and the most southern portion of this meadow will be the highest point on-site. This will allow open views from within the site towards the surrounding mountains. The overall arrangement of plants and buildings is intended to maximise both views and solar gain.
Braided rivers that shape the valleys north of Glenorchy will be alluded to in a meandering pattern of schist stone on edge. This schist stone will be set within the existing asphalt street surfaces as well as within the gravel paths that lead through the site. These stones on the edge are a local material abundantly available and unique to the region.
Kowhai trees will be used along the Coll Street entrance forecourt and within other parts of the site. This tree is significant within Glenorchy and the larger Wakatipu region as it has recently become an icon of ecological restoration. The tree’s historical medicinal and ecological values will be exploited by planting a high density of kowhai around the entry forecourt area followed by a less dense, feature tree application within the site.
The western margin of the site will be planted in naturalistic, native species. The primary tree used in this planting will be the beech tree, which forms the bulk of the canopy in the surrounding forests. A high diversity of other complimentary native plant communities will be used throughout the site. A guiding theme in the Camp Glenorchy planting design was ‘if it’s not native, it’s edible’. An existing orchard in the vicinity of one of the existing houses will be restored and enhanced.
The building designs are typically rural in their character, reflecting much of the historical buildings in the area. Post and rail fences will continue this consistency in materiality and character. Similarly, the soft paved surface treatments will reflect the rural character.
A grey-water treatment wetland will be a central feature near the northwestern portion of the site. This ecological treatment of wastewater will be the first in the District. It is designed in a way that portrays the ecological function in a legible frame. Planting within the wetland will highlight the cultural understanding of intent, discretely revealing the wetland’s function.
Cars and other vehicles are generally relegated to the periphery of the site, which will be completely wheelchair accessible and safe for pedestrians.