Hot homes – in the trees

Distinctive Designs

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Protecting a rare stand of totara on a small coastal property, while providing a comfortable space for people, was the major design driver for this modest holiday house designed by Arthouse Architecture.

Lifted above the forest floor and tucked under the canopy, three small buildings linked by open but sheltered walkways step lightly through gaps in the trees, ending at the beach.

The position and size of each module was determined by the gaps in the forest coinciding with the original bach, a driveway and a small clearing. Each module is subtly differentiated, the guest wing closest to the road is clad in dark green Colorsteel, reflecting the little corrugated iron sheds you see in the area.

The living module in vertical cedar boards, echoes the trunks of the forest, and the main bedroom beyond is clad in horizontal cedar weatherboards.

The light and sun that penetrate the canopy reach deep into the rooms via high level glazing, and each module has two aspects: an interior focussed on trees and forest and an exterior face looking out to views and sun.

From the living area large bifolds open to the deck and the sea – at high tide you could almost throw a fishing line from the deck. Internal spaces are deliberately simple reflecting the Golden Bay holiday lifestyle.

From the living area large bifolds open to the deck and the sea – at high tide you could almost throw a fishing line from the deck. Internal spaces are deliberately simple reflecting the Golden Bay holiday lifestyle.

The modules provide linked yet separate areas for shared and private living like three little baches hidden in the trees, sitting peacefully in the understory as the forest continues to re-establish itself.

Arthouse Team: Min Hall, David Wallace, Caroline Marshall, Christopher Pyemont

Builder: Frank Byrne

Photographs: John-Paul Pochin and Paul McCready

www.arthousearchitecture.co.nz