This house at Blackpool, Waiheke stands as a black monolith in a densely populated native landscape. Glamuzina Paterson Architects have designed a house at home in the tree canopy -- a tower that vertically responds to the steep topography and allows choreographed connections to the landscape…
Entering the Steep Site
Entry to the steep site is from above and you descend through dense native trees, along a winding path where you are presented with an entry porch cut into the austere form. The southern wall is conceived as a defensive wall anchoring the building into the site, and setting up a layering of the space within. The entry compresses you on arrival, followed by a sense of expansion offered by the interior double height space beyond.
The tower is a one bedroom house for a couple, and was completed on a very modest budget. The house consists of four interior split levels and 2 decks that allow for varying connections to the landscape, with kitchen and dining on one level and living 900 mm below. The second floor has a bedroom and bathroom with a mezzanine library on the stair landing. Ground floor footprint is 47 m2 with 34 m2 across the second floor and mezzanine.
The chiseled roof form, shifting floor plates and deck follow the contours of the land. The undulating north-west face responds to the enclosure of the tree canopy, negotiating the connection between interior and exterior conditions. The dining room looks across to a deck to the east and back into the double height volume of the living room.
To achieve a singular and continuous form in the landscape, black metal cladding for the exterior skin and aluminium joinery for the apertures was chosen. Recycled totara floor was used for the flooring with pine with a clearcote finish for dinning ceiling and void walls. The void ceiling has dark stained Meranti ply and black rafters.
The library rises up through the space to the intimate mezzanine to make the most of vertical space until it terminates at the ceiling rafters. A comfortable reading nook has been carved from the space to complete the library. The irregular and undulating north face responds to the enclosure of the tree canopy.
Blackpool House is a modest sized project which makes the most of the small space and unique location. The internal materials are warm and natural, which help the project to feel like a treehouse hidden in the canopy. Outside, the black tower is monumental, but diminutive against the leafy backdrop. The home is light and bright, its split level design responds to both the topography and maximizes the sense of space. This is a terrific small project.