Karangahake House

New Zealand has some of the most amazing wilderness in the world and owning a home there is a life goal for a lot of people and that is especially true if said property is as mesmerising and brilliantly designed as Karangahake House from MAKE Architects. Pleasingly understated both inside and out, this superb piece of architecture really makes the most of its privileged spot in the New Zealand countryside and showcases the creative talents of the studio behind it.

The embodiment of small but perfectly formed, Karangahake House from MAKE Architects has 100m² of living space and the property is enveloped by thick, native forest-covered mountain ranges, through the last bridge towards a small East Coast town on New Zealand’s North Island. Boasting extraordinary views and an elevated position, this is definitely the sort of home we want to end up in here at Coolector HQ.

Gorgeous Views

Karangahake House is positioned on the edge of a plateau that rolls off into a steep valley situated below. It is surrounded by 360 degree views of neighbouring farmlands but it is completely secluded with endless green plains and vast blue skies. Orientation was key to maximising Northern views of nearby ranges and Mt Te Aroha (Love Mountain) across historical gold-mining gorge and Eastern views down to an beautiful, winding river.

Clever use of space creates vignettes to crucial scenic moments of the surroundings, with a specific client request to capture the Western setting sun behind Mt Karangahake, enjoyed right from the dinner table. Karangahake House from MAKE Architects boasts an eco-friendly natural wood finish, with the exterior being designed to grey in the years to come, revealing a rustic silver, reminiscent of classic ‘Kiwi Tramper’s Huts’.

The main body of the house, which has a double height open living and kitchen area, a mezzanine above two double bedrooms and a bathroom, is connected by a cool and versatile outdoor room to the guest bedroom/office with another bathroom and laundry/mudroom. The mezzanine provides an open, welcoming gathering space to relax and unwind and impromptu friend and family visits. There is a covered verandah that edges along the house, much like a second hallway, which delivers respite from the summer heat runs and fits in seamlessly with the hillside landscape. 

Architectural Endeavours

MAKE Architects strive to challenge wasteful, costly and arduous construction processes, and work with with local partners at ‘Welhaus,’ pre-fabrication which delivers the perfect solution to meet our efficient, economic and eco-friendly architectural values. The pre-designed floor, roof and wall panels were pre-constructed then assembled on-site in just four days to allowed for swift joinery installation and external and internal linings to follow. This process resulted in near 0% on site-waste, a big reduction of transport pollution, time and labour economy and efficiency.

We love wilderness residential properties here at Coolector HQ and this  Karangahake House from MAKE has definitely captured our imagination with its clever use of space and mesmerising views out across the countryside. For those with a love of understated, modern architecture, this one will be tough to beat.

Leo Davie
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