Project: Back Country House
Architects: LTD Architectural Design Studio
Location: Puhoi, New Zealand
Area: 1,765 sf
Photographs by: Jo Smith
Back Country House by LTD Architectural Design Studio
LTD Architectural Design Studio has completed an amazingly compact modern house in Puhoi, New Zealand.
The Back Country House is still a two-story residence even though it only expands up to 1,765 square feet of living spaces but it is incredibly difficult to notice the lack of space because a peek through the windows puts you in the middle of a breathtaking rural environment.
Located on a secluded bush-clad site this house plays on the uniquely NZ typology of the back country hut. Aiming at simplicity it is comprised of a single volume for living/cooking/ eating and a lean-to annex housing the lower floor service/sleeping areas. The spaces are open and shared as opposed to enclosed and separate.
The experience is one of enhanced connection with each other, and of an enhanced connection to the surrounding environment. The living area opens fully on two sides, having the feel of an outdoor room, and the fire and baths located on the deck draw daily activities out of the house and into nature.
Extensive use of locally sourced band sawn macrocarpa inside and out, passive heating /ventilation and high-performance insulation make the house of low impact environmentally. Roughhewn natural materials tie the house effortlessly into its setting, while the galvanized corrugated iron is used to strengthen the hut aesthetic.
The interior design juxtaposes heavily textured and knotted band sawed timber against flat, clean, white, sharp-edged surfaces. Finishing trims and beads are absent from the detailing here – the timber intersects with the white surfaces plainly and honestly – and a high level of workmanship was required to achieve the desired result.
The main palette is two-tone, with the warmth of the oil-blonded macrocarpa off-setting the starkness of the matt-white surfaces, meanwhile matt-black light fittings work together with the joinery to accent the scheme. The simplicity of the palette provides a sense of calm which works as a welcome backdrop to the sometimes chaotic days of young family life.