Light on the land

How many meandering wings do you need to wander down to feel secure in your place in the world? For many less is far more – but, as seen here, simpler architecture also means thinking architecture

Designed by Urban Function Architecture

From the designers:

We were tasked to assist in finding a site suitable for our clients' small house requirements. The best one we recommended was very cost efficient but came with slope stability issues, planning challenges, easements cutting through the centre and height restrictions – the perfect site!

The design brief was a small 2 bedroom home with generous internal volume that would feel larger then a compact footprint suggests. Outdoor living and unobstructed views were paramount as was privacy on a slightly exposed site.

With the brief in mind, the design response we ran with is essentially an 80m² rectangular box. We looked to carve out a platform and push all excavated material on site to ensure we could have a deck area with no balustrading – both a cost efficiency response but also to ensure unobstructed views.

Niches are carved out of this to create depth, screen deck areas and shelter from prevailing winds. A mono pitch 3 degree sloped roof plane is mirrored on the inside Strandboard – a high density lined ceiling that pitches from 2.4m high to almost 3m at the rear creating a sense of space beyond the footprint area

Super insulated internally and externally with high performance windows create a calm, quiet and stable interior environment. Surface mounted LED strip lights don’t penetrate the thermal envelope to assist with thermal efficiency. Burnt larch cladding and natural cedar fins make up th exterior with any niches in the building clad in natural Larch for contrast and to announce entry areas.

Water retention tanks and storage is allowed for below the building in an area excavated deeper to allow for garden equipment, sports gear and bikes to be stored upright.

This home challenges the ideals of larger house living and proves that with good design, volume and spatial layout 80m2 of space can feel generous and comfortable to live in. The form is essentially a rectangle with carved out niches that provide sense of address, privacy and shelter. 

Aaron Jones, design director, Urban Function Architecture

Aligned to face the Kaikoura ranges, it's clad in a combination of burnt and natural Larch timber. 

This house is high performance and cost effectiveness rolled into one.

Credit list

Aaron Jones, Urban Function Architecture
Kitchen manufacturer
Dynamic Joinery
Landscape design and install
Artworks Landscapes
Plumbdek, from Dimond
Main flooring
Kitchen designer
Urban Function
Interior designer
Urban Function Architecture
Charred Larch, by Chartek
Window/door joinery
APL – Metro Suite

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Stephen Entwisle

10 May, 2020

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