Project: Rutherford House
Architects: Tim Dorrington
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Area: 2,981 sq ft
Photographs by: Emma-Jane Hetherington
Rutherford House by Tim Dorrington
The Rutherford House is a modern home located in Tauranga, New Zealand. It was designed by Tim Dorrington to face the cold winters and hot summers that the area is known for. The four distinct units that this dwelling is made up of are easy to tell apart because they are so visually different from each other. There are two black cedar-clad bedroom blocks, next to which is a concrete base and white volume that contains the living area and the kitchen.
The brief was to create a modern holiday house suitable for the hot summers of Lake Taupo and the cold winters for skiing on Mt Ruapehu.
Formally the house consists of 4 main elements; (1) a concrete base, which at some points is folded up to contain interior spaces, (2 and 3) two black cedar-clad bedroom blocks, and (4) an open-plan white structured ‘veranda’.
The concrete base provides the required floor level rise, creating intermediate zones between inside and outside. Raised decks from both the living room and snug articulate elevated, and in the case of the front deck, covered outdoor spaces. The living space arrangement suits the extreme climates of the location, activities and varying degrees of privacy.
The large open-plan ‘veranda’ space comprises kitchen, lounge and dining. A snug, a step lower with an open fireplace, can on colder days be closed off from the main space. The top-floor sitting room affords a private sanctuary for the owners when entertaining family and friends.
The internal environment is managed with thermal mass floor and walls and passive ventilation to most building faces. Additional heating inside and out is provided with open fires.