“The dwelling more as an instrument rather than a monument".
This house for a couple retiring to Marlborough is situated on the outskirts of Blenheim at the foot of the Withers dryhills. The long gable and faded cedar façade is our man made attempt to integrate with this local landscape. The envelope combines the principles of rainscreen with an interior insulated thermal mass. The aim was to explore if we could make the whole house feel as if it was the veranda i.e. find a way to control the climate with the envelope rather than rely on an additional shade structure. A larger more defined space, overlapping with kitchen dining and the formal living areas, is enclosed by the roof and the rainscreen wall and supports outdoor living away from the prevailing wind.
The 400mm total wall thickness adds a pleasing perception of protection to the occupants. From the outside the house has a more ethereal less solid presence in the dry landscape. Brit Andresen, the international juror who presented Architecture Workshop with the 2003 NZIA national Architecture Award, commented on finally seeing a gable roof, amongst the plethora of flat top buildings on display.
Client_ Meikle Family
Architecture_Architecture Workshop Ltd
Structural_Dunning Thornton Consultants Ltd
Builder_Bruce Idiens, Richard Jackson
Design Team_Christopher Kelly, James Fenton, Tim Hervey
2003 NZIA NZ Architecture Award citation:
“The use of long gables and slatted cedar rain screen integrates this house with the Dry Hills landscape. A series of cement bagged concrete block walls are used to define both interior and exterior spaces. Doors and cedar shutters slide into the cavity between the rain screen and the block walls providing the occupants a range of environmental options. Interior functions have been arranged in a logical sequence with environmental considerations in mind. And Architecture Workshop’s use of subtle colour tones, natural textures, and controlled light have created an interior of stunning, yet calm simplicity.”
NZIA Regional NZ Architecture Award, 2003
Walsh, J. (2007, March). Journey Man. House New Zealand. (03). pp. 89-104
Kelly, C. (2004). Dryhills house: Blenheim New Zealand. Ume (18). pp. 66-71