You've probably got an image of what a weekender looks and feel like? Perhaps it's a basic shack in the bush, with an open fire, hand-me-down furniture and a shelf stacked with dusty old books. Perhaps it's a caravan near the sea, with an annexe for the kids, a comfortable sitting area and a plumbed toilet? Or maybe you're imagining something a little fancier, with a tennis court, swimming pool and plenty of space for friends and family? (Lucky you.) Whatever you're imagining, it's both nothing like and exactly like this weekender by Chris Tate Architecture, where he challenges the expectations of a weekend house...
The retreat Chris and a group of architecture students built is a hands-on, experimental process from design to construction. It's designed to be a tent-like structure, converging at two points. This, of course, means that some of the floor area is compromised.
Just like in a real tent, to get to the very edges, you need to duck your head. But the architect still manages to fit in a bedroom, bathroom, fully functioning kitchen and open-plan living space.
The home feels like a gallery for living, thanks to the all-white fit-out and unique form. Curves are introduced with a striking spiral stair and curvaceous designer furniture.
The team of architect and students built the foundations, floors and framing and had professionals take over with services and cladding and other more challenging parts.
The mezzanine bedroom is the real show-stopper, where curtains on the triangular window make it feel like an actual tent. Although you know you're in a well-finished, fully functional house, this room messes with your head (in a good way).
A unique space in this compact home is a 'thinking nook' at the rear, in the narrowest part of the home. With one slit window and the walls converging, this is a protective space which would be perfect for meditating or, as the name suggests, thinking!
The front deck fans out from the home, giving the illusions of a shadow cast by the tent. Taking in views of a New Zealand native rainforest, the Chris has planted hundreds of native plants to regenerate the forest landscape. As a result, many of the native birds have returned, enhancing the sense of luxurious camping in the forest.
When not in use, this unique home is rented out for short-term accommodation and photo shoots.