Harte house

Harte house

Great barrier island, New Zealand
Simon Wilson

Harte House

KebbellDaish as Architects

The property is a large site of regenerating bush on Great Barrier Island. The bush is still recovering from nineteenth and early twentieth century deforestation and bush fires. The challenge was to create a building that not just minimizes the destruction of forest but actually plays a positive role in bush regeneration. The building has been specifically sited on a piece of badly damaged ground and has been organized around a pathway and series of screens. The screens connect the house site to the remainder of the property while also providing a platform for new planting.

The aesthetic challenge was to develop an architectural language that would embrace the ground and articulate a new and positive relationship between architecture and the natural landscape. The main body of the house is cut into the slope and bends slightly to follow the contours of the land. The screens operate as remedial surface, or prosthetic landscape, which approximates the existing ground plane as it rises up toward the house and over the roof of its eastern end forming the outermost shell of the building.

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