A rural castle on a wind-swept hill, this home responds to the environment as a fortress enclosing a luxury sanctuary for family living. Positioned in a rugged landscape with sometimes harsh weather this contemporary house nestles into the hillside with magnificent panoramic views of the coast.

A tough exterior is contrasted with a serene interior by using a restrained, material based palette that will patina with age. The black stained boards of the exterior are echoed in the stain finished interior timber.

There is no modification to the landscape other than the sentry of the form itself. Wind and sea spray thunders up from the ocean some 60 metres below and the form wraps around to protect a circulation courtyard from the rugged and harsh coastal environment. The resulting structure defends that same environment.

The home is arranged as a series of spaces linked by way of the circulation courtyard and secret doors, discovering forms and shapes seemingly arbitrarily positioned, yet suggesting a history; a sense of transcended time. Long views across the protected courtyard end on the all persuasive horizon, moving toward the edges of the structure, the ocean and sky open up above and below, until the view’s full breadth is revealed.



NZIA Local Architecture Award, 2009


Simon Devitt, Davor Popadich and Jean-Luc Laloux