Awaawaroa Bay is a modern wooden retreat located in New Zealand, designed in 2020 by Cheshire Architects.
Our clients fell in love with this south-facing site and the idea of occupying it completely, without formality and off-grid. We proposed not a house, but an encampment: three small buildings embodying different aspects of occupation, clustered around a loose sun-drenched courtyard.
Each building was carefully designed to meet its functional purpose without undue excess; one for living, one for sleeping and bathing, and one for guests. The vaulted living room gable is tent-like with a taut external skin. This contrasts with its soft timber interior and end elevations. The canvas-cloaked sleeping spaces have strong sculptural forms which house finely detailed interior spaces for private occupation.
Through both the arrangement of spaces and the articulation of their built form, we hoped to celebrate the difference between inside and outside – and the reinforcing, occupying and eroding of the threshold between those states. The buildings are connected to each other, but also held apart, by the courtyard which captures sunlight and provides shelter from the wind. This courtyard is both building and landscape but also its own place.
Photography by Jackie Meiring
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