When you take a six metre by six metre by six metre cube and divide it up, you naturally get three-metre cubes – and this just so happens to be a very nice proportion for a room.
Designed by architect James Warren of Upoko Architects, this little bach at Punakaiki was built for owners who had camped for years on the land and wanted to intrude as little as possible on the bush. Over time, they’d slowly carved out a series of clearings for living, cooking and washing: the house Warren designed sat neatly into one of these.
His plan was elegant but unfussy. In order to fit into the clearing, he designed a box with a pitched roof – downstairs is glassy, with full-height sliding doors opening up into the bush, while upstairs is enclosed, giving the appearance of a floating box.
Downstairs: a dining area, sitting area, kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs: two bedrooms under the eaves, enclosed in honey-coloured ply. A dramatic void over the dining space makes the interior feel open and generous.
Throughout, the tectonics of the house are exposed and celebrated – it’s beautifully crafted and precisely detailed. Simplicity at its best.
22 Hartmount Place,