Rawhiti House

The Rawhiti house is one of Fearon Hay’s first projects – a family holiday home constructed in New Zealand’s Northland. The beachfront site drops from an elevated ridgeline down to the water’s edge, flattening before extending onto the beach. Two existing sheds sat at the base of the slope not far from high tide.

The design reinterprets the two existing sheds into simple gabled bookends and connects these with an open pavilion containing new stairs, kitchen, scullery, living and dining spaces. Two layers of sliding glass provide protection from prevailing wind from either orientation and permit flexibility of use in all conditions.

A bespoke terrazzo floor incorporates sand and shell from the local beaches and offers a continuous durable surface between interior and exterior spaces. Native tawa – discarded coloured heartwood – is formed into solid cabinetry, complementing the use of folded weathered zinc inside and out.

Project Details:

The internal floor area is approximately 550m2 and construction was completed toward the end of 1999. Tim Hay and Jeff Fearon are the design architects. Photography is by Patrick Reynolds.

Recognition: Winner of New Zealand Home of the Year (NZ Home 2000) Winner of a New Zealand Architecture Award (NZIA Awards 2000) Published in Houses for the 21st Century by Geoffrey London (2003)