AMONGST THE TREES
In 2016 we were approached by the Furniss’s to design a contemporary home for them and their family on a steep bush-clad site in rural Cambridge NZ. Our brief was to design a home with open plan living for maximum solar gain and views to meet the family's requirements, but also design a home that was well suited to the surrounding landscape.
The home had to be designed to suit the steep contour of the land and carefully placed so that it would not disturb the protected fauna located around the site. The building also needed be positioned in a way that would give the home access to the incredible views of the surrounding native NZ bush & the Waikato farmlands.
During the site visit we noticed there was a lack of morning sun throughout the winter months. This was because of the landscape in the Mangakawa Scenic Reserve to the east of the site restricting the sun from shining through to solve this problem we designed the home in the shape of a ‘horseshoe’, a living wing that cantilevers out over the steep terrain, as though you are among the trees and a bedroom wing that is nestled into the bush covered hill, allowing the rooms to soak up the rays of the afternoon sun.
The home comprises of shallow slopping parapet roof planes enveloped by vertical Cedar shiplap paired with areas of light, Specialized plaster finish providing a sense of harmony.
Entering the home, you are greeted with magnificent views through the homes extensive glazing. This glazing allows for natural light to enter the home, providing light and warmth. However, during the summer months when the sun travels in a much higher arc the sunlight becomes blinding & unforgiving, with the addition of louvers, we have reduced the amount of sunlight that is able to enter the home.
Architecture: Daniel Cullen
Builders: Ben Shaw Builders
Photographer: Rachel McKenna