The Wairarapa 'Haybarn'
This barn-like home offers a striking reference to rural vernacular and uses the local development restrictions to its advantage. Long and lean, the form is remarkably simple. A monolithic roof plane angles up - a domestic-scaled 2.4m stud height at the northeast becomes a 5.5m station-style woolstore at the southwest: it is this impressive façade that greets the road.
In this design form follows function: the double-height roof cleverly accommodates a double garage and workshop at ground level and a two bedroom and bathroom loft above. Adjacent to this, the open-plan kitchen / living / dining room takes advantage of the still-high ceiling. This lofty space overlooked by the mezzanine has impressive acoustics! With full-height glazing to the northern garden beyond, the Walnut tree is a part of the family - it almost feels as if it is inside, and its canopy contributes to the interior atmosphere in summer.
To the northeast, the main sleeping quarters enjoy the more modest volume under the roof’s low end and the terrace wraps around the eastern facade - this is the perfect spot for a quiet morning coffee. Services are efficiently oriented along the southern spine of the house, with generous laundry, kitchen, bathroom and separate WC facilities.
Photographs copyright of: Jason Mann Photography
Jury's comment: Picking up on the shed forms of rural Wairarapa, this seemingly simple wedge-shaped house quickly reveals a delightful composition. The corrugated iron wedge is eroded to create timber clad overhangs and verandahs that shade, invite and create, in combination with the existing walnut tree and stream, a superb variety of external spaces. Internally, the use of volume, as well as the loft interruption to it, continue with a rational consistency. With simple but well composed built-in joinery, the entirety makes for a liveable, warm and harmonious home that is clearly perfectly pitched to its owner’s needs.