Rutherford House / Tim Dorrington Architects

© Emma-Jane Hetherington

Architects: Tim Dorrington Architects
Location: Taupo /Oruatua, New Zealand
Builder: Mark Haimes, Taupo
Project Area: 277 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Emma-Jane Hetherington

© Emma-Jane Hetherington

The brief was to create a modern holiday house suitable for the hot summers of Lake Taupo and the cold winters for skiing on Mt Ruapehu.

Formally the house consists of 4 main elements; (1) a concrete base, which at some points is folded up to contain interior spaces, (2 and 3) two black cedar-clad bedroom blocks, and (4) an open-plan white structured ‘veranda’.

© Emma-Jane Hetherington

The concrete base provides the required floor level rise, creating intermediate zones between inside and outside. Raised decks from both the living room and snug articulate elevated, and in the case of the front deck, covered outdoor spaces. The living space arrangement suits the extreme climates of the location, activities and varying degrees of privacy.

The large open-plan ‘veranda’ space comprises kitchen, lounge and dining. A snug, a step lower with an open fireplace, can on colder days be closed off from the main space. The top-floor sitting room affords a private sanctuary for the owners when entertaining family and friends.

presentation elevations plan

The internal environment is managed with thermal mass floor and walls and passive ventilation to most building faces. Additional heating inside and out is provided with open fires.

Cite: "Rutherford House / Tim Dorrington Architects" 20 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • saeed

    two different colours for each floor illustrate the function of this building. having the nice facade with full view at the ground floor with a specific colour then moving to second floor with different moving in colour & planning give it its power.

  • Toter

    Looks like a fun place to carry groceries, luggage, etc. from your car to your kitchen or bedrooms.

  • Mr. Htun Linn Oo

    Very Good.Like This.

  • up_today_arch

    Two columnes under black block might be more elegant…