The Karangahake House is nestled within the dense mountain forest of Waitawheta Valley, located on the North Island of New Zealand. The secluded home is built of FSC-certified, native douglas fir wood and paired with an eco-friendly prefabrication construction process.
Vast, 360-degree views of neighboring farmlands circle the property, as well as stunning vistas of the Karangahake and Te Aroha Mountains across the historic gold-mining region to the east. The project is meant to provide a sustainable home for its owners, who put great value on the importance of the environment and quiet family moments.
The designers made the most out of the local materials available to them, cladding the home in locally grown and sustainably harvested timber with an environmentally friendly, natural wood finish and sustainable insulation. The finish is meant to age over time to reveal a rustic silver hue, paying homage to the nostalgic hiking shelters, or Kiwi Tramper Huts, for which the area is known.
At just over 1,000 square feet, the main house features a double-height open living and kitchen area, two double bedrooms and a bathroom under a mezzanine and a connecting room to accommodate guests or transform into office space. The grand “Outdoor Room” alludes to farmhouse style and provides opportunities for indoor-outdoor living, taking in beautiful forest views. This room also serves as an open connection between the main house and guest area.
Responsible for the design is MAKE Architects, who collaborated with local partners to create the prefabricated floors, roof and wall panels that helped reduce waste and costs of the construction process. The Karangahake House was assembled onsite in four days by local workers, resulting in nearly 0% onsite waste and a massive reduction of transportation pollution.
The FSC-certified wood, natural wood coating and prefab building process will ensure a long lifespan for the property, according to the architects. Additionally, the home will require minimal user maintenance.
Photography by David Straight via MAKE Architects