The Foothills House was constructed using durable, mostly unfinished materials such as coated steel, zinc, stone and concrete masonry for a raw and natural look that blends in with the surrounding Waikato landscape. Natural stack bonded concrete blocks form the base of the building and highly glazed walls that hold up the angled roof maintain both strong insulation and spectacular views out to the countryside. The low slung steel structured lightweight roof is angled to absorb the thermal mass of the winter sun for passive solar heating and is positioned to allow cold south winds to flow overtop the building envelope.
The house is divided into two elongated shed-like pavilions linked by an internal garden courtyard, with the upper portion consisting of the private bedrooms and the lower portion comprised of the living areas. An onsite rainwater collection and treatment system will provide potable drinking water and irrigate the house’s gardens in both its outdoor and interior courtyards.