Stretching 60m in length, the Matheson House is a machine-like insertion into the natural landscape of New Zealand.
This residence, commissioned by a young family returning to New Zealand after years living and working overseas, represents a return home from the bustling cites of Asia to the calm and expansive countryside of New Zealand. The brief was founded on a simple central concept; that a strictly controlled aesthetic can exist in exciting contrast to the natural landscape.
The house design responds to this idea in a very direct way by arranging all rooms in a single linear strip, exposing all spaces to views over a private vineyard, the Waimea Plains and Tasman Bay beyond.
The house has a clear ‘arrival side’ and ‘private side’ divided by an in-situ concrete spine wall that runs the whole length of the project. This wall is punctuated by two apertures – one at the entrance and the other between the living room and the bedroom wing, providing a continuum of internal and external living spaces.
The external living space also forms a mediating space between the main house and the guest house while providing a screened glimpse to the view beyond on arrival.
The strictly modernist exterior is reminiscent of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House with its extruded linear from while the interior is deliberately the opposite – weighty, rich and informal.
This house is highly sustainable, with 44 PV panels and water-heating panels located outside, underfloor heating, superior insulation, low-E argon-filled windows and a polystyrene underfloor slab to keep the home comfortable at all times.