Intimately connected to its unique and delicately woven site, Awaawaroa is a celebration of the journey to nature and a basking dance within it. Cheshire Architects brings a simplified elegance to the occasional home, combining familiar forms in an immersive and curious way.
Responding to its remote location and the meandering expedition the approach unfurls, Awaawaroa celebrates its location. A site abounding in natural views, the client’s love of its south-facing aspect saw a family of structures emerge on site, resembling more an encampment than a traditional structured approach. An assembly of three forms on site, each speaks to its function and responds to the terrain in differing ways as they surround and encase an outdoor courtyard – a veritable room in itselfthat allows the site to be occupied in a less formal way. Cheshire Architects takes lead from their client’s wish to live off-grid, immersed in the landscape they adore, and the resulting spaces speak to a curious and intuitive response to living differently.
Located on the bay of the same name, Awaawaroa challenges expectations of traditional shelter and, instead of encasing each of its functions under one roof, takes an interesting experiential approach, separating the zones of the structure into detached forms. Mirroring the slope of the site, the central gabled-roof structure peaks upward and can be seen upon approach. Its height adds a monumentalism and natural hierarchy, gesturing itself as the main gathering space. Clad in Oregon timber both internally and externally, the indoor kitchen, living and dining space is both warm and engaging. Running through as a spine of the space is an elevated preparation and dining surface, and custom joinery is carved out of the mass itself, further reinforcing a sense of enclosure. Opening up to the outdoor terrace, large glazed doors offer a curated view beyond and connect the inside and out.
Built by Ramma Construction, the sleeping volumes play with form through a unique application of materiality. Timber lined internally, the external fabric takes on a more geometric formality. A skin of canvas creates a veil that sits abreast the structure, pinned back to strategic points to allow for tightening over time. The result sees a softening of the building fabric and through the reference of yacht sails, their engagement with prevailing winds adds the element of sound to the experience of sleeping by the sea. Separated by intimately sized bunkers, the quarters each accommodate up to ten visitors. The interconnectedness of each of the comprising parts creates the same warm informality whether housing a few quests or up to its full capacity of ten – a feat in itself.
A site abounding in natural views, the client’s love of its south-facing aspect saw a family of structures emerge on site, resembling more an encampment than a traditional structured approach.
Imagined as a both a private space and one to share with others, Awaawaroa is as welcoming as it is subtly interesting. Cheshire Architects has played with thresholds between inside and out and the experiential qualities of engaging with nature. The result is one of pure, restrained bliss.