A nod to appropriate farm architecture and shaped by the owners' requests, this family home's barn-like profile conceals a decidedly contemporary interior

NA  teal, yellow

Designed and built by Landmark Homes North Shore Rodney

From the designers:

The owners were about to retire and while they would commute to their rural property for a couple of years, this was to be their forever home!

Their initial thoughts were that they wanted a symmetrical home with minimal eaves; simple barn shapes in keeping with the rural setting – but with steeper pitches; and black and cedar finishes. 

They also wanted minimal interiors, lots of glass, and a vaulted ceiling with glazed gable.

The budget was very fixed. However, they were willing to compromise on size to have a very good level of spec.

Beyond the looks of the home, there were the physical requirements to consider.

These included, a two bedroom home with lots of space for entertaining; a huge connection to the outdoors and Mt Taumahunga which dominates the skyline; a separate garage with linking walkway; a functional kitchen as they love to cook and preserve; somewhere to display their art and period furniture; a fireplace; and lastly the home had to offer low energy costs, with the owners’ impending retirement in mind.

Design development and functionality

They had owned the property for some time and had developed an extensive vegetable garden. And as part of this, they had constructed a small roofed storage area for the garden with corrugated iron tanks. 

And this modest element initiated some of the original design thinking for what was to be a grand home.

The very flat site meant there were no topographical constraints, however there was an overland flow path to consider and it was within an outstanding natural area. 

This fitted with the owners’ desire for the home to blend into the landscape with typical rural forms.

The limited budget strongly influenced material choices. For example, the owners loved the look of vertical cedar shiplap, however this would have pushed the budget too far, so we settled upon Hardies Axon painted black with cedar accents.

However, along with the vertical shiplap-look cladding we used familiar rural materials – a Colorsteel roof, brick, and cedar accents.

The house has the look of a large modern, clean-lined barn, ensuring a contemporary style that sits harmoniously within its rural surroundings. 

The house is neatly divided in functionality – open-plan living on one side and private spaces – bathrooms and bedrooms – in the other half.

The living area conjures feelings of being in a voluminous barn, with the open-plan kitchen, living, dining area opens out in a multitude of directions allowing for choice depending on the sun, wind and numbers of people.

Facing the large gable glass at the end of the public spaces towards the east afforded a soft rural vista and also meant the solar gain was reduced with it not attracting the hot midday and afternoon sun.

However, with so much glass, it was important to introduce plenty of cross ventilation. 

As a result, in summer the owners can open the home up in all directions (north & south) and get amazing natural cooling with no need for air conditioning.

In a large, open volume with everything on show, a secret scullery allows for the messy aspect of cooking and preserving to be hidden from sight. 

This and the laundry are in a connected lean-to scullery/laundry space which was finished in painted brick to accentuate its difference from the principal structure.

For a home where flow to the outdoors is a constant, laminate flooring provided the logical, hard-wearing solution. Reclaimed chestnut was also used in the main living areas.

In general terms, there is a slightly industrial feel to the interior with the use of stainless steel in the kitchen and non-traditional vanities in the bathrooms.

On the opposite wall to the glass gable a slender but powerful fire allows plenty of room for large artworks – sometimes a tricky ask when there is so much glass in a home.

The result is a very open home that invites the outdoors in.

Credit list

Wendy King, Landmark Homes North Shore /Rodney
Interior designer
Jackie Dykstra
James Hardies Axon with Timspec P58 vertical shiplap cedar accents and Painted brick
Window/door joinery
Standard Residential Suite by Vantage Joinery
Stone view Grey Natural, from European Ceramics
Pendants from Retro Lights
Vintage by client
Kitchen designer and manufacturer
Seed Landscapes (to be installed by owner)
Colorsteel Maxx Trimrib
Quickstep Eligna 8mm laminate; reclaimed chestnut to main living areas; Bremworth Siren Dio Solution Dyed Nylon carpet – Prometheus – to remainder
Winstone wall board 10mm, by Gib
Envirosolve Bionic Fire
Control systems
Built-in speakers
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Dimitri Kotelevski

22 Mar, 2020

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