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Timber Design Awards

Writers Residence

This project was to be designed specifically to address the needs of a full time writer with the basic amenities required to live but, above all, providing a quality of space, comfort and outlook.

The Client originally approached me in early 2007 to design him a writer’s sanctuary on his recently acquired property in Ruakokoputuna near Martinborough.

In his brief, he asked that this project be designed specifically to address the needs of a full time writer with the basic amenities required to live but, above all, providing a quality of space, comfort and outlook. He wanted to use local farm buildings as a reference point for the design.

The client writer’s residence consists of one voluminous space glazed at each end. Into this is inserted a sleeping loft, an enclosed reading area, a kitchen, an ablution block and, most importantly, a space at each end for writing.

The house celebrates timber as a construction material. Glue-laminated pine portals at 4 metre centres provide the underlying structure with double glazed windows and macrocarpa boards on 150 framing completing the exterior cladding. A polished concrete floor stores heat energy from the sun during the day and re-radiates the warmth at night. Internal reverberation noise is attenuated using macrocarpa and cedar timber slats over shade cloth with sound insulation in the internal wall cavities. Considerable effort went into detailing the timber to give a robust, low maintenance and functional living environment. Generally the timber has been left in it’s natural state to weather gracefully on the outside and to embellish the interior with the smell of cedar and macrocarpa sawn boards.