Two single-hipped pavilions rise dramatically toward each other – stopping just short of touching – united by a low-slung roof that shelters an intermediate entry and ‘outdoor room’, joining the two parts of the building. The house is positioned to look out over a wetland of national importance and is surrounded by the owners’ vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and native plantings, who have worked the property for the last 10 years. To make way for the new house, a small cottage that once occupied the prime north-facing position has been lifted off its piles and moved back to open the site while retaining as much of the established gardens as possible.
Built atop a concrete slab laced with underfloor heating, powered by wetback and solar– and angled to receive ample winter sunshine directly to its polished top – the floor promises to play an important role in providing comfort to the occupants throughout the year. The exposed aggregate of Otaki River rock embedded in the slab is a local link to the landscape. Walls are timber framed and insulated to R3.6, with a ply lining inside and a board and batten – with areas of ply – to the outside. The roof has a skillion ceiling though the open-plan living area, insulated to R5.0, which celebrates the sculptural volume of the roof-form for appreciation from inside.