Designed as a retirement house for an ex-farmer and his wife, the resulting series of lean-to-like pavilions borrow their sloping single-plane roofline from the archetypal farm utility shed.
The floor plan was developed as a direct response to the flow of the unique two hectare site. The building wraps around the crest of the hill, creating a form that has a strong relationship to both its immediate and the distant surroundings of Lake Taupo. Simple lean-to utility building forms complement the raw strength of the central plateau’s natural environment with the sloping roofline deflecting the wind as it comes up over the hill.
Concerned with the effects of the wind on such an exposed site, two very different environments were created at the back and front of the home. The house has two faces – a view front and a protected garden front, which allows for living on one side or the other. The house is capable of being open and closed completely to avoid the wind.
The wide, glazed verandah that connects the series of pavilions housing separate activities, creates a boundary between inside and outside which is illusionary and temporal providing a transition between nature and shelter, time and place.
A previous volcanic archeology is suggested by creating a double layered concrete block wall which anchors the building and forms the central spine from which all other structure is “leaned” off.