NZ House of the year
Like two charred corks bobbing on a sea of the greenest grass, these serene retreats are beacons of exquisite modesty. Twin shells but with two very different personalities, it is easy to understand how Auckland based Cheshire Architects took out New Zealand Home Magazine’s ‘House of the Year 2014‘.
Named ‘Eyrie’, these two modest contemporary cottages designed for two seperate clients nestle into a hillside near Kaiwaka on New Zealand’s north island. They are a secure place of simple luxuries with an abundance of soul, a shelter from the weather and a place to breath in the intense beauty of the surroundings.
Both cottages are clad in burnt black weatherboards with interiors of pine & plywood. In one, black form-ply wall cladding and joinery creates comfort in the depth of darkness while a brass kitchen nook glows like an ember. The colours of the landscape highlighted all the more by its dim interior, it is a meditative space to find solace. The second cottage is a warm hue of figured pine. Light and airy, its interior is in a parallel relationship with the outdoors and is sure to clear the mind. As Nat Cheshire explains, one is a “pool of inky blackness into which to vanish”, the other “a soft warm piece of pine cabinetry to hold you aloft above the ground”. With delight, you enter the dwellings through oversized windows, by a timber bridge and a boulder.
Off the grid they are independent outposts beautifully subverting the language of home as we know it. They are tranquil and delightful visions of a better future where humility and quality will conquer consumerism. This is an inspired project that will in turn inspire.