For this home, rural farm buildings inspired several lean-to like forms opening to a central courtyard – privacy and connection to the land result

Designed by Roy Tebbutt, Strachan Group Architects (SGA)

From the architect:

This home is located high on a hill with expansive views west from the Manukau Heads through to the Gulf Islands and the Coromandel to the east. 

The home is for a farmer, a landscape gardener and their adult family.

The design brief called for a relatively efficient three-bedroom home to accommodate family life and flexible occupation of the adult children in rural south-east Auckland.

Tricky site geology offered a predetermined 20x20m building platform (400m²).

We made a conscious decision to resist the normal response of spreading out across the landscape and to allow the building platform to remain a constraint. This meant ‘thinking inside the box’.

This led to a process of subtraction, of cutting away space not required. 

The plan consolidates to the south and south-west edges with a courtyard in the centre and is cut away to the north-east corner. The house turns its back to the road front and the coldest wind, opening instead to the sun and views, all while remaining within the 20x20m square. 

The elevated position subjects the site to severe weather from every direction.

Rural farm buildings have inspired a collection of lean-to like forms gathered around the courtyard, each creating a silhouette against the skyline.

Links to the rural vernacular are incorporated with the use of Colorsteel for the primary cladding.

Like a Driza Bone rain coat, the Colorsteel cladding provides a protective coat on the exposed site and fits snuggly over and around the cold sides of the building.

The cladding loosens a bit to the warmer north facade, with projecting eaves and Siberian Larch siding to add a layer of softness and warmth.

Larch continues inside the living spaces to bring the warmth in. The exterior colour palette is deliberately grey and subdued to blend building and sky. 

A solid castle like landscape wall closes the road edge of the square form, screening off courtyards, service spaces and entries.

The wall adds a layer of mystery in terms of what lies beyond.

The single central living space opens to a sheltered landscaped courtyard to the east and a covered outdoor space to the west.

This living space also forms the connection between the separate bedroom zones.

A combination of time and the owner’s passion for landscape will further embed the built form into the site – transforming the house high on a hill into a home that is completely of the hill.    

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Roy Tebbutt, SGA
Shiplap vertical larch, oiled with Drydens, from Rosenfeld Kidson; Colorsteel vertical Kahu trapezoidal profile Endura
Window/door joinery
Doors/frames/sills – larch; clear float, double glazed insulated glass unit (IGU); windows – APL Architectural/Metro/Residential series
Wall coverings
Interior linings – larch shiplap, from Rosenfeld Kidson; Gib Ultraline; plywood ceilings
Woodfire woodburner, from Metrofires
Lighting control systems
Andrew Wood Builders
Kitchen manufacturer
Carlielle Kitchens
Colorsteel vertical Kahu trapezoidal profile Endura; Suntuf Greca polycarbonate on deck roof
Main flooring
Concrete – steel float finish, black oxide mix; hand troweled polished satin finish
Bathroom tiles
Network Umber - Tile Depot
Dryden wood oil and wood master; Resene paint to Gib interiors; Resene Aquaclear to plywood
Light fittings
Dining – PH5 by Louis Poulsen from Design Denmark; kitchen – strip pendant by Maker Design Studio; recessed downlights, wall lights, led strips, exterior, all from Lightplan
Living area furniture
Radial Dining table, from Citta; tangerine dining chairs and kitchen stools from Simon James

Designed by: Roy Tebbutt, Strachan Group Architects (SGA)

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Simon Devitt

22 Aug, 2021

From our family to yours

Home kitchen bathroom commercial design

Latest Post

19 May, 2024

19 May, 2024

19 May, 2024

We know the Specialists

Related Book


We have got all the best ideas and advice to help you with your plans and ideas. 

Read More

Similar Stories