Sandhills Road House / Fearon Hay Architects


Architect: Fearon Hay Architects
Location: Great Barrier Island,
Constructed Area: 250 sqm
Project Year: 2007-2008
Photographs: Patrick Reynolds

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Located on the Eastern coastline of the Huaraki Gulfs, Great Barrier Island the ‘Great Barrier House’ is a relaxed holiday destination that references traditional notions of bach occupation. Drawing inspiration from the idea of two sheds linked by stretched tarpaulin, the house consists of two habitable areas joined by an expansive floating pavilion. Wide expanses of sliding glass doors & adjustable blinds allow the pavilion to respond to different environmental conditions while providing the location for eating dining & relaxing within the natural surrounds of the property.



Clad in band sawn ply sheet the ‘sheds’ provide a modern take on the use of vernacular building materials. Coupled with the use of permeable metal screens the ability to manipulate outlook and environment from within the ‘sheds’, provides further reference to traditional notions of holiday occupation and response to site. As locations for the bedrooms and bathrooms these built forms offer a sense of refuge from the open pavilion space.


A roof deck upon the Northern ‘shed’, gives outlook and sea views, otherwise restricted by the site location behind the Medlands beach sand dunes and nestled amongst the neighboring properties. Standing upon the roof deck looking South-West towards aging corrugated farm sheds and looking North-East towards the expansive seascape, the Great Barrier House sits comfortably within its environment; offering a private retreat while allowing an occupation that embraces the surrounding landscape and context.

Cite: "Sandhills Road House / Fearon Hay Architects" 23 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Fudge

    wonderful, i love that fireplace!

  • Yorik

    Cool materials

  • Dustin

    best fireplace ever…

    • public eye

      disgree, most of the heat would be lost. Maybe you meant the very nice deck with the expansive outdoor view.

  • ali

    i love that fireplace 2……….nice!

  • rodger

    nice outside fireplace except for the fact that its facing the wrong direction!
    as a whole, nice work from this new zealand architectural firm.

  • ricardo


  • AMR

    Another beautifully proportioned, well thought out and perfectly detailed project from my favourite architectural firm across the Tasman

  • One

    Ha Large glass sliding doors…. Is not better just to step outside to do BBQ instead of opening up all glass walls and dors?

  • tsaB

    interesting project… what will be the use of an outside fireplace?

  • StructureHub Blog

    This project reminds me of a home design by David Salmela on Madeline Island in Lake Superior, which uses similar massing and color, and also has a white fireplace/chimney set apart from the home ( ). Salmela’s project is a bit more insular, however, and seems more set into the landscape due to its different construction materials.

  • Tel

    The photo’s give the impression of a tight slick design, and yet to see the house in it’s surroundings is another experience all together. This house sits like a visible scar in the landscape when viewed from outside of the property and to keep this post clean, the chimney flips the bird to the entire neighbourhood. Truely nasty.

    • Bruce J

      Tel, you must be a little too close to appreciate?

  • Roberto

    Exelent plan compound with the adiction of tree rectangles in an elemental composition.

  • sullka

    I love it.

    I do find rather sloppy the selection of those slim steel bars as “columns”, they obviously aren’t “columns” to the whole extent of the word, but they do seem to share some of the cantilevered roof load, They’re way to slim, you could bend them with a kick or if you hit them by mistake which won’t be so nice to the house.

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  • themirrorballman

    more than looking to the amazing photos, you need to have a look to the floor plan, the way is distributed shows how great is the work from that new zeland architecture firm

  • Ani

    Beautiful views that just integrate so well with the design! Thankd for the great post Nico Saieh!

  • nimless

    ahahahah xD

  • Jamal

    Im having this house as my prom work its easy hehe