Built right in the middle of a sensitive bush reserve, Waiatarua House was designed for a couple in their mid-sixties who wanted to trade the fast pace of a city life for one surrounded by nature. Conceived by Hamish Monk Architecture, the structure combines exquisite modern stylings, and a unique sensitivity for the nature on all sides. It also features some creative sculptural components; three simple elemental forms that step down the site towards the creek – the roof of one floor creating a level platform for the next.
Despite its location in a secluded part of the bush, the house features a prominent black exterior of stained timber – which gives it the appearance of a dark silhouette hidden behind a thick veil of green. Architects had no intention to try and compete with, or mimic the wild beauty and intricacy expressed in surrounding natural environment, which is why the styling is relatively simple. On their website, the house is described as “a reductivist idiom, stripped of excessive articulation and noise.”
Inside the house, architects were more experimental, which has resulted in spaces that start from an almost subterranean position, and gradually climb to an elevated point perched amongst tree canopies. Rooms throughout are served by, and branch out from a vertical circulation shaft that runs the full height of the house. At its peak, there is a small study nook with an oblique geometric screen that allows for plenty of natural light and a stunning view of the outside world. [Photography by Mark Smith]