Builder: Davidson Building
Photography: Simon Devitt
With gentle gables, verandah posts out front, and a monolithic materiality, the shape of this Roys Peak house and garage/sleepout embraces the DNA of a family-sized tent.
Dwarfed by the breath-taking alpine environment, the holiday home was subject to tight resource consent controls to ensure it disappeared within the landscape. The design approach was to ground the dwelling deep into the Earth to mitigate its height - and to cloak it in dark, recessive colours.
Powdercoated aluminium in an industrial tray profile waterfalls from the roof down the walls. Grounded gutters and bamboo composite decking feed in tonally to keep the external features consistent. In this sharply etched building, the vertical ribs of the cladding work with the horizontal forms in a robust, shed-like interplay. The dark-grey metal aligns tonally with the schist of the peak and recedes when viewed from above and afar on the public walking track.
Inside, the 221-square-metre house has a warm heart, courtesy structurally insulated panel (SIP) construction. Exposed rafters, made of Norwegian spruce, a clean-grained timber with proven durability, lend the feel of a modern farmhouse. A Crittall-style door provides access from the entry to the dining and living zone where a picture window zooms in on the view of the Buchanan range, best enjoyed from the schist bench-seat beneath it.
The kitchen is located to one side, slightly removed from the hubbub of the open plan. American oak cabinetry either side of the galley channels the eye through a glass door to the dramatic hill beyond.
This certified passive house boasts very low energy use. With good orientation to the sun, it’s super insulated with triple-glazed European windows. A pergola with retractable shades to filter out direct sunlight shields the north-facing deck to stop overheating, and a ventilation system delivers fresh air year-round.
Meeting the match of seasonal extremes, and humble within its context, this dark dwelling turns the dial to comfort for body and soul.