Matakana House, New Zealand Home Building Project, NZ Residential Architecture Photos
Matakana House near Auckland, NZ
19 June 2020
Design: Glamuzina Architects and Pac Studio
Location: Matakana, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
This house is situated within the bucolic landscape of Matakana, a small town one hour outside of Auckland, The site overlooks Sugarloaf Hill to the North, wetland to the West and farmland to the East and South. To negotiate this pastoral site, the building surface plays with depth and shadow across multiple scales of composition, while notions of prospect and refuge are explored in program.
The Matakana House is arranged as a broken courtyard, defined by a deep ‘L’ shaped plan, on one side and a landscape wall and sunken courtyard framing the pool to the West. Two wings are split along an intersecting axis of top lit corridors that breaks out into a large, informal kitchen and dining area.
At the North end of the house the roof rises up to a clerestory while the adjacent snug room recedes into the ground. It is a dark and introverted refuge counterbalancing the lightness and clarity of the main living area.
Unlike an urban project that might privilege a specific facade, in this home every elevation has been considered. Timber battens line the exterior acting as a compositional tool, providing a textured relief that responds to and accentuates the rhythm of fenestration. The brick walls and podium negotiate the ground, stepping in and defining porches, seating, and gardens as spaces to inhabit within the façade.
The clients wanted a home that felt warm and relaxed, using natural materials that felt born from the surrounding landscape. They wanted a mix of large spaces for entertaining and intimate spaces for retreat. The house was to be sympathetic to local environment, capturing views that connected the interior to the surrounding landscape. It had to be a place to entertain and dine with their close-knit group of friends and family, and space for their children to connect with the landscape and outdoors.
Jen and Mike were a couple based in Auckland’s inner city. Their desire was to create a weekend retreat as a family with two young children.
In 2012 the couple purchased a large, flat plot of land in Matakana, a rural area an hour out of Auckland. Over the course of the next four years the family spent numerous weekends camping on the site. They did this before making any design decisions, to slowly uncover its unique qualities.
In many ways it was their insight into shifting seasons and light qualities throughout each day that enabled us to create a home that could celebrate these characteristics of the site and landscape beyond.
The architects’ design concept was premised around a deep plan that articulated these relationships to the view across multiple scales. The exterior timber battens and plastered plinth mediate the apertures to the exterior, with a large asymmetric roof form providing a progression of scale across the plan of the house.
The project takes a nuanced approach to dealing with context. A series of different apertures operate as frames to near and distant views on the site. The textural quality of the exterior cladding finds expression throughout various times of the day as shadows deepen or flatten the surfaces – providing in intricate scale appropriate to the bucolic site.
The bedroom wing to the west has rooms that face out to views to the North.
The qualities and transition of materials that present a clear language defining pockets of unique spaces. This is most clearly articulated in the transition to the snug where the Oak panelling is folded from the kitchen and into the ceiling. The snug becomes a softly lit, internalised space that creates a more intimate environment away from the larger scaled spaces.
The house produces a gradient of light transitions and scales that progress through the informal plan. The material palate, and exterior screen create a soft light that changes across the day and seasons with deep textural qualities.
Timber battens line the exterior acting as a compositional tool, providing a textured relief that responds to and accentuates the rhythm of fenestration. The brick walls and podium negotiate the ground, stepping in and defining porches, seating, and gardens as spaces to inhabit within the façade.
The interior materials are dominated by Oak flooring and panelling which contrasts with the sculptural plaster walls. Thin lines of black steel create sharp frames at the transitions between these materials.
Starting with the clients brief and the context of the site, the architects look to develop a language and tectonic specific to the project. This can be used both to accommodate complexity or to tease out the idiosyncrasies, be they programmatic, functional or at the scale of details within the project.
Matakana House close to Auckland – Building Information
Project size: 260 sqm
Site size: 17300 sqm
Completion date: 2017
Building levels: 1
Photography: Sam Hartnett
Matakana House near Auckland, NZ images / information received 190620
Location: Matakana, Auckland, New Zealand
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