This Rustic Modern Home Embraces New Zealand’s Natural Splendor
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This Rustic Modern Home Embraces New Zealand’s Natural Splendor

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By Anna Squier
In a scenic location near lush wildlife, cascading falls, and black sand surf beaches, sits a timber-clad home with grand living spaces that embrace the outdoors.

Set at the foot of Waitakere Ranges Regional Park near Auckland, New Zealand, surrounded by acres of native rain forest and coastline, this gabled-roof home fits elegantly into the rugged landscape. Designed by New Zealand–based Fearon Hay Architects, the Forest House blends modern and rustic architecture into a single-family residence suitable for resting, working, and enjoying the rich outdoors.

Forested lands and rolling hills surround this modern dwelling. Acres of woods and beaches—and everything from hiking and biking to strolling along the coastline—are within arm's reach.

Forested lands and rolling hills surround this modern dwelling. Acres of woods and beaches—and everything from hiking and biking to strolling along the coastline—are within arm's reach.

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Timber-clad walls surround the home's indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Timber-clad walls surround the home's indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Large sliding glass doors open onto a backyard retreat complete with a fire pit and swimming pool. 

Large sliding glass doors open onto a backyard retreat complete with a fire pit and swimming pool. 

The wood exterior is composed of large beams and pallets of native timber the clients collected from various parts of New Zealand over the years. Fearon Hay Architects transformed this patchwork of vintage material into a beautifully composed, timber-clad home. 

The simple, gabled forms extend past one another, creating open spaces for outdoor enjoyment. Timber-clad walls and shingle roofs tie all the volumes together. 

The simple, gabled forms extend past one another, creating open spaces for outdoor enjoyment. Timber-clad walls and shingle roofs tie all the volumes together. 

The beauty is in the details of this elegantly crafted dwelling. Repurposed wood creates a tonally beautiful composition. 

The beauty is in the details of this elegantly crafted dwelling. Repurposed wood creates a tonally beautiful composition. 

The design team's admirable craftsmanship and attention to detail transformed these natural materials into finessed interior and outdoor living spaces. Simple volumes extend past one another, creating open spaces for cooking and lounging. 

Wood screens blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Wood screens blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces.

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The home’s layered facade allows the indoor living spaces to be open or closed to the outdoors.

The home’s layered facade allows the indoor living spaces to be open or closed to the outdoors.

Concrete masses break up the grand interior spaces, while providing some solidity to the light framework of the home.

Concrete masses break up the grand interior spaces, while providing some solidity to the light framework of the home.

An element of layering in the facade brings lightness to the structure. Slatted shutters can be closed for privacy and shading, or opened to engage with the natural wonders of the striking setting.

Wood ceilings lend a warm touch to the interiors. A large wood-burning fireplace and cozy lounge furnishings provide the ideal place to relax and soak in the surrounding elements. 

Wood ceilings lend a warm touch to the interiors. A large wood-burning fireplace and cozy lounge furnishings provide the ideal place to relax and soak in the surrounding elements. 

Flowing curtains add a touch of softness while filtering daylight. Breezes flow in, while privacy is maintained. 

Flowing curtains add a touch of softness while filtering daylight. Breezes flow in, while privacy is maintained. 

The continual use of wood creates warmly lit interiors that accentuate the simple, gabled formwork.

The continual use of wood creates warmly lit interiors that accentuate the simple, gabled formwork.

The exterior walls and shingle roof are set atop cast-in-place concrete masses. The timber facades and roof provide warmth while creating continuity between the separate buildings. The simple and elegant building volumes contain warm interiors that quietly blend into the natural surroundings.

Related Reading: A Rammed Earth Home Rises on a Breathtaking Site in New Zealand’s Southern Alps 

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Fearon Hay Architects / @fearonhay