Two structures enfold a light-filled central courtyard to create this bach-like home that will naturally weather into its landscape 

Designed by Marcus Stufkens, Stufkens & Chambers Architects

From the architect:

Project description

This family bach is a collection of two buildings unified by an internal courtyard.

The design process took inspiration from the local surroundings to create a unique exterior and interior form. 

The resulting home sits modestly on a flat semi-rural site with mountain scene outlooks.

The building wanted to age gracefully into its location, so a stained timber board and irregular batten exterior cladding was selected to form a natural texture and context. 

The entry is tucked away, and the arrival connects you to a sheltered internal courtyard, before feeding you to numerous access options that all share this intimate, functional outdoor space.

Interior spaces unfold from a brightly lit living space before recalibrating the experience as you move to each space via a sun-drenched gallery that doubles up as an extension of the bedroom and media spaces.

The spaces wanted to be comfortable, while at the same time extending to take in the connections to the outside environment.

The home is understated on the outside, creates a calm demeanour on the inside and responds to the greater environment with pocket connections.

Design features and creative solutions

The requirement for the project to be small and simple allowed us to explore these notions by challenging the established requirements of what homes normally feature. 

The entry has been defined by angling the living room exterior wall to visually form an entry point. 

The gallery is more than just a hallway, it’s an extension of the bedrooms, offers storage recesses and includes integrated seating as a quiet recessed space.


Recycled materials, passive solar design, thermal mass and grey water harvesting all feature. 

The house is orientated around the internal courtyard so most internal spaces benefit from the northern sun. 

The garage from the outside blends seamlessly with the bach but actually is simple timber pole shed construction, therefore helps reduce our carbon footprint. 

One of the key benefits of a small footprint construction is the ability to provide effective cross ventilation and daylighting through the house for most of the year. 

For summer, most of the north facing windows/sliders are externally recessed creating partial internal shading.

Internal linings are mainly prefinished birch plywood giving a real warmth to the spaces. 

Windows orientated to maximise sunlight and views also add to enhance the interior environment. 

An external window seat orientated towards the mountain views provides a moment to pause on the site and reflect on the beauty of the Ben Ohau range.

Credit list

Structural engineer
Kitchen manufacturer
Kershaw Builders
Colorsteel Endura
Main flooring
Jacobsen Studio Oak Plank
Bathroom tiles
From Reptiles
Peace and Quarter Craigieburn, by Resene
Woodsman Flame Log Burner
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
Kitchen, interior, and landscape designer
Marcus Stufkens, Stufkens & Chambers Architects
Kershaw Builders
Stained board and irregular batten
Window/door joinery
APL Architectural Series
Bedroom flooring
Feltex Cable Bay carpet
Plytech Birch Elite – lacquered
General heating
Mitsubishi ducted ventilation system
Living area furniture
David Shaw Furniture

Designed by: Marcus Stufkens, Stufkens & Chambers Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Anthony Turnham Photography

27 Mar, 2022

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