New Zealand's Great Barrier House by is nestled in a beautifully private setting surrounded with large Puriri trees, Blackwoods and other natives...
The home is elevated for flood protection and acknowledges the hill to the west, lifting towards its elevation. The living zone opens completely to this setting and the timber exoskeleton references the surrounding trees. The bedrooms all have protected outdoor space, being closely located to the trees for increased privacy. The house is located to protect the existing vegetation and to make the most of the sun and the native bird life on the property.
Being on Great Barrier Island, the building also needed to be sustainable. The architects were able to ensure the house was both passively heated and cooled. The clients attest to the benefits of passive heating and cooling, "the outdoor room is a place we spend much of our time, eating, reading, doing homework and siesta-ing; but the feeling of being indoors on those hot summer days with all doors open is also fantastic."
The clients say it rarely gets cold enough (owing to that great low-E glass and good design) for fires yet - "we have had two, only for ambience, not heat. It is an astonishingly decadent feeling lying in a bath of free water, heated by the sun, pumped by solar power. Free as anything! Hot water gets up to 68 degrees in the tank from the sun, and has to be cooled to come out the tap."
"With 9 staying and all the laptops, music, washing etc. we've only run the generator 3 times ever. All the irrigation systems do clever things. So it's more than a PC nod to sustainability, as you know from all our fussing about timbers and paints."