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Photographer - Simon Wilson

Raglan Rest

This site on the foothills of Karioi presents a dichotomy of challenge and opportunity.  The expansive outlook over the rolling green of Rangitahi Peninsula towards Raglan township and harbour draw out the inquisitor and explorer, while the exposure of the build platform demands the provision of shelter. The immense and open landscape informs a robust formal response, and its climatic condition requires an architecture that is willing to offer refuge and protection.


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Raglan, Waikato

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The sense of the sites’ exposure is heightened on approach by dark blank faces, interrupted only by a singular cut in the pure form. The entry plinth and overhang possess scale to reply to the big landscape they occupy. Once the threshold of the entry has been traversed, the hospitable warm tones of the interior envelop and the house opens itself up, revealing the views and offering tranquil space for family life. The experience of transitions between public and private, in and out, has been curated by manipulating the land. The stepped elevated entry contrasts the dissolved transitions from lounge to deck to lawn.

Fulfilling its role as a sculptural object and a dwelt space, this building aspires to both honour and contest the intensity of the encompassing landscape.

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"This country house admirably meets the client’s request for “a house of clean lines and open spaces that capitalises on the amazing views”. Situated to provide shelter from the prevailing winds and to take advantage of the outlook over Raglan township, harbour and the Tasman Sea, the design response is a sheltering, low-slung, L-shape combined with generous internal spaces. The entrance cantilever and wide living area overhangs provide a sculptural sense of shelter in this “big landscape”."

- NZIA Waikato / Bay of Plenty Jury

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Videographer - Simon Wilson