Conway Flat Common House
Considered as both house and country lodge, the ‘Common House’ is one of a pair of homes designed for the same client to serve two divergent briefs. Each house adopts a unique response to the local geography in order to achieve very different experiential results.
Resting lightly on the gently sloping grassland of the Conway Flat, the Common House is designed as a series of zinc pavilions nestled beneath a grove of mature Kanuka.
The existing conditions and the remote nature of the site demanded a focus on sustainable rural living. The design response employs retention, renovation, in situ construction and prefabrication to unite a collection of existing structures and develop a series of semi-enclosed garden courts.
The line between interior and exterior is deliberately obscured. Timber decks and filigree canopies extend beyond the interior footprint to deliver almost continuous connection to the landscape. Careful arrangement of the pavilions, coupled with a series of dynamic panes of glass, provide flexibility to open onto a sheltered exterior terrace regardless of wind direction.
The form and materiality explore a rural vernacular and are derived from the immediate context. The crisp grey forms and machined vertical joints assimilate into the shadowy trunks of the Kanuka and deliver a contemporary interpretation of the existing board and batten structures on site. The project utilises an in-floor hydronic heating system powered by a solar array and an efficient gasification boiler. To reduce waste and travel, the plant and bathroom pavilions, were prefabricated in Christchurch and transported to site complete with all linings, finishes and fittings.