Set at the foot of the Waitakere Ranges NZ, is a collection of timber clad, gabled structures designed by Fearon Hay Architects. They slip past each other, opening spaces for courtyards, cooking, and fire. Exterior shells of native timber boards and shingle roof are founded overcast in situ concrete masses, bracketing the interior spaces within an adding weight and strength to the spacious interiors.
The client had been collecting vintage timber for years, stockpiling from different parts of the country – large beams, pallets of native timbers and he had a massive supply of totara. Fearon Hay Architects thought they could build him a house that actually curates the timber collection.
So the challenge was how to use a patchwork of different timbers, bring them all together tonally so it doesn’t end up a mess. The timber, while it can be used to create solidity and warmth and mass, can also be incredibly fine and that was the tension the studio enjoyed playing with. The roof is part of a translation of a palette of timber. The idea came early on: with such a strong mix of timbers, how can they use the timber as a roof? The roofs are the most dominant elements in terms of the buildings. So it allowed Fearon Hay Architects to develop a strong sense of continuity between the different buildings.