The guys from Fearon Hay Architects were inspired by this 600 square meters forest ravine. Located at the foot of Vaitaker in Auckland, the modern forest house was built to offer more than just a house. Instead, it was created as a space in which different elements, different buildings are involved, with the possibility of sliding between buildings through courtyards, cooking spaces or simple gable structures. They wanted the house to be an interesting place to live, which would reflect the way of life on the farm.
The owner collected ancient wooden pieces for many years, accumulating large beams, pallets of local breeds and a huge stock of totara.
We thought we could build him a house that carefully curates his extensive timber collection. So there’s a patchwork of these different timbers and we sought to bring them all together tonally so that the end product was beautiful aesthetically.
— said the architects.
The exterior is covered with traditional wooden boards, as is the shingled roof. Dark wooden boards extend to the wooden veranda. Sliding shutters made of solid wood surround the veranda, offering the residents a flexibility and choice regarding creating closeness, closing them, or openness, opening up space to let in light and air.
Architects played on the nature of various types of wood, seeking to pull out the various personalities and emotions that it evoked. While wood can be used to create strength, heat and mass, it can also be incredibly beautiful.
There is also a strong bond with concrete. Extensive interiors are created with cast concrete masses that fix the interior spaces to the floor, adding weight and strength to the design. While the concrete walls are impressive, the richness of the wooden floors makes the high walls great.