Alright, New Zealand, we get it. You're doing really well for yourself over there. You've got 100% renewable energy, incredible landscapes and Hobbits. *Slow clap*. To be honest, we never thought you'd survive without us. That's why we've got a street in Canberra ready to rename 'Wellington Avenue' in honour of our newest state capital, for when you decide to take us back. But what we're most jealous of is your homes (especially the ones that take advantage of those incredible landscapes); you know the best revenge is living well. And this one? Perched on a hill above Peka Peka Beach by Herriot Melhuish O'Neill Architects? Well, this one hurts...
Three simple boxes, but what a clever arrangement. Because whether it's a cloudy isle at the bottom of the world or an exposed site and a pesky budget, it's not what you have that counts - it's what you do with it. Three boxes. One for living, one for sleeping and one for garaging. Arranged to create a sheltered north-facing courtyard, without blocking the views. The courtyard is protected from coastal winds but still captivates with views through the living area to the ocean and Kapiti Island in the distance.
Living and sleeping are clad in black-stained cedar. The garage and workshop box is veiled in a translucent polycarbonate which means during the day it's naturally lit by the sun and at night, when lit from within, it glows like a welcoming lantern on the hill.
Timber decking (dicking?) surrounds the home, meaning there's always the perfect place to sit and enjoy a cuppa, regardless of the prevailing winds. And with views in all directions (ocean, pine plantation, farmland), there's never a bad place to sit.
Even though you've already got renewable hydropower, this home has solar panels and solar hot water because the clever owners would ultimately like to go off-grid. Now you're just showing off. Above-code insulation keeps the chill at bay, while an insulated concrete slab is used as a heat source. Then, when it's a bit warmer, natural ventilation makes use of those sea breezes to effortlessly cool the home.
You've done it again, New Zealand. There's nothing particularly complicated about this home, but the way it's arranged in response to the site makes it extraordinary and exceptionally livable. This is sure to be a comfortable home year-round; the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the spectacular views from your cloudy isle at the bottom of the world.