Enveloped by dense native forest-covered mountain ranges, towards a small East Coast town on New Zealand’s North Island, the Karangahake House sits on the edge of a plateau that rolls off into a steep valley below. Surrounded by 3600 views of neighbouring farmlands, it is completely secluded with endless green plains and big blue skies.
The simple building sits humbly in the farmland setting, recalling the local Coromandel Region’s rich forestry history and New Zealand’s hiking culture. Clad in locally grown and sustainable vertical timber shiplap with eco-friendly natural wood finish, the exterior will grey in the years to come, revealing a rustic silver, reminiscent of classic ‘Kiwi Tramper’s Huts’.
Designed by MAKE Architects NZ, the tight budget and the 100m2 footprint challenged the studio to obsess over details, precise spatial designs, and the distilled essence of living simply.
The main house, with a double height open living and kitchen area, a mezzanine above two double bedrooms and a bathroom, is connected by the Outdoor Room, to the guest bedroom/office with another bathroom and laundry/mudroom. The mezzanine offers an open versatile gathering space to accommodate impromptu friends and family visits. A covered verandah traces the house, much like a second hallway, to provide relief from the summer heat runs and melts into the hillside landscape.
The Outdoor Room, enhances the simple barn form, creates opportunities for flexible engagement directly between the owners with both their home and the environment. A large custom sliding barn door is able to shut out strong hilltop winds to a private moment with nature herself. Clear roofing above floods the space with soft batten-filtered light during the day, and glows like a lantern at night, recalling memories of the welcoming glow of a nightlight guiding tramper’s home.