Building on the success of the Studio 19 Bach, the following years project was more ambitious in scale and complexity than previous years and further challenged the project team, a collaboration between SGA and sixteen third-year Architecture students from Unitec.
Again for a private client, a mother with two daughters in their late teens, the brief was for a three-bedroom retreat on a rural site in Waimauku, West of Auckland. The family are keen equestrians and the large and idyllic property already contained an arena, stables and accommodation for the property manager. The larger scale of the project required the building program to be delivered in two parts, prefabricated on campus, transported to and joined on site, adding a layer of complexity in terms of planning and detailing.
The design was consequently conceived in two modules, one for sleeping and one for living. Each is characterised by it’s cladding: one in yellow cedar board and batten, the other in dark prefinished profiled metal, unified by a central translucent-roofed hallway. Vitas and transparency through the building are captured by two intersecting axis, each concluding with a physical connection to the green and leafy setting. Exterior materials fold in to interior spaces to further strengthen the buildings connection to the outdoors and enveloping landscape. Other investigations included looking at ways of providing a transportable thermal mass floor system, use of SIP roofing and detailing of custom-made bi-fold cedar joinery.
Sustainable and passive solar design features throughout, incorporating water collection, on-site effluent management and solar hot water. The size and bespoke nature of the building along with the extra work required to provide services to a rural site pushed the team’s commitment well beyond the academic year timetable but the result is a beautifully crafted retreat that rests comfortably within it’s rural context.
Photography by © Ross Keane