River Retreat House by Edwards White Architects
The River Retreat House is a design by Edwards White Architects located in Taupiri, New Zealand. This is a compact, contemporary family home surrounded by a beautiful, landscaped garden. Naturally, this home takes advantage of its location and makes use of the sunlight to fill the interior with natural light.
Responding to a narrow site this small retreat has been orientated to capture the best of the sun and views towards the Waikato River and Hakarimata ranges beyond. The simple skewed form of the house has an appropriate scale and presence within the wider landscape.
On arrival visitors are led up a path alongside a careful language of tall cedar screens before stepping up onto the Garapa timber deck and casually entering. Capturing this sense of informality was a key design driver in creating a restrained family home that is a simple yet elegant place to retreat.
The kitchen is the heart of the home with the Tasmanian oak flooring slicing through the plan providing both morning and evening outdoor opportunities. The living space steps down into a light filled volume reaching out to the river. A mezzanine pulls over above with exposed painted radiata floor joists and bookcase balustrade providing a sense of homeliness and enclosure.
The rear of the house is delineated by the seamless pivot door, integrating within the Gaboon plywood cabinetry wall. Providing access to withdraw into the bedrooms.
Custom rainscreen detailing enhances a modest steel-clad home, allowing flashings and window frames to hide beyond whilst creating a distinct and compelling form in the landscape. Encapsulating the qualities of the Bach typology, the blurring of spaces and breaking down of thresholds corresponds with the expressed natural timber materials and tectonic detailing.