Overlooking an expanse of rolling farmland bordered by its namesake, the Karangahake forests, this cleverly interpreted farmhouse in New Zealand by MAKE architects celebrates nature, simple living, and the home.
With a nod to the tramper huts of New Zealand (a similar outpost to the Scottish Bothy), the secluded Karangahake House features only the necessities, but with modern upgrades that offer an unpretentious, yet luxurious feel.
A modest footprint (just 1,076 sq ft) and a tight-budget kept the designers and clients hyper-focused on details, and it shows. The rectangular uniform is broken into two separate living units—one for the main house and another that doubles as guesthouse and office. An open walkway called the “Outdoor Room” connects the two.
Sheltered by exposed roof beams covered in clear polycarbonate panels that seem to glow softly at night, the Outdoor Room emulates the lantern light that guides trampers back to backcountry huts.
A sliding barn door can be pulled shut to protect the space from high-winds and a wall of hooks and a space-age doggie door add personal, family-friendly touches.
A gabled roof creates a double height living and kitchen area in the main house, and a mezzanine above a block of two bedrooms and a bathroom creates additional space to gather.
And a covered veranda wraps around the house to provide shade in summer heat and additional space to take in views of Mt. Te Aroha, Mt. Karangahake, a historical gold-mining gorge, and the river valley below.
The house was assembled on-site with prefabricated floor, roof, and wall panels in four days, with additional time needed for linings and interior installations. The exterior is clad in locally-grown timber, which will gray with age. Plywood panels line the interior and a sustainable ventilation system keep both the house and its occupants healthy.
If only New Zealand wasn’t approximately 20 hours and a couple thousand dollars away...