Sounds House

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

 

New-build home designed to take maximum advantage of stunning views and the temperate climate of its picturesque setting in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.  Taking camping as a metaphor the house has been conceived as a minimal form of enclosure in two parts -  a simple wooden platform providing a ‘ground’ upon which domestic activities can occur and an innovative rubber cladding system providing a ductile, tent-like enclosure above.  Inverting the typical house typology the plan has been conceived as being predominantly an ‘exterior’ with interior space furnished as both 'islands' and ‘pockets’ within the tent-like enclosure.

 

In section the house is mono-pitched, sloping gently up towards the east where bedrooms catch the morning sun. Here the fabric-like skin of the building is folded down to blinker the bedrooms from the main views to the north whilst a louvered glass wall allows the sea breeze and birdsong to filter in from the east.  A partially covered courtyard separates the bedrooms from the main living area, placing exterior space at the centre of the plan and reinforcing the conception of interior space as ‘islands’ within a larger exterior field.  Large glass doors enclose the living space which, when slid away into pockets in the walls, merge courtyard and living areas into one fluid space; at times enclosed and at others entirely open.

 

Status: completed, 2005

Budget: withheld at client request

Designer: Stephen Bonnington and Amanda Yates

Architect: Archiscape and Kebbell Daish 

 

 

Awards:

NZIA Regional Award 2010, Nelson Marlborough

 

Publications:

Another 100 of the World’s Best Houses, Robyn Beaver, Images Publishing Group.

House and Garden New Zealand, ‘Coastal Trading’, Claire Findlayson, Mar 2005, No. 127: 36-42.

Architecture New Zealand, ‘Seduced in the Sounds’, Tommy Honey, Nov / Dec 2003: 80-83.

 

 

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