A few weeks ago, we shared Tim Stephens’ urban farm model – an organized set of plots for people to grow their own food – and, today, we feature his Fakro House. For this small residence, Stephens incorporated the local vernacular into a modernist retreat in the Whangaripo valley. By acknowledging the site’s importance, in terms of views and ecological values, Stephens’ design is a smart fit for the New Zealand location.
More about the project and more images after the break.
The project takes the rural vernacular and incorporates contemporary touches, such as a modern timber/metal cladding and modern domestic programming requirements. Within the two level home, the bedroom, bathroom, artists space and library are situated above the ground floor, while the first floor spaces suit spacious and flexible living areas. Natural light penetrates the space through strategically placed skylights.
The exterior treatment is pulled back from the main structure in deliberate places to create double height space that wraps around the entire plan. “The design seeks to directly acknowledge and respond to its context by peeling away the skin of the building where practical to reveal the site beyond, maintaining a direct visual connection to the exterior throughout the dwellings plan,” added Stephens. With this strategy, the project retains a strong connection to the site as site lines are uninterrupted and the project maintains a weightless feeling.
Similarly to Stephens’ past designs,the residence also incorporates passive sustainable strategies such as proper orientation, super insulation to all external walls and massive materials to balance internal temperatures, and a pitched roof with solar/photovoltaic panels.