Boldly formed and peeking out upon approach, Ross Campion House sees an interplay of efficiency and familiarity, carving a warmly embracing family home. Rafe Maclean Architects uses materiality to portray a sense of identity and ownership, as the tightly woven home sits nestled into its suburban site.
Every home is an opportunity to express a sense of self and create an identity through the built entity. Sometimes this occurs through a particular form, a unique engagement with the landscape, or it can be the choice to be recessive and stay hidden from the surrounds. In the case of Ross Campion House, it is the combining of slightness of scale, navigating a tight site and then choosing to wrap the form in a solid-coloured metal sheeting to reinforce its small but mighty presence. Located in the popular elevated and mountainous Wanaka, in New Zealand’s South Island, the house sits nestled amongst other residences in a suburban-type tautness. A sense of balance is created between the efficient programming of the home, integrating as much amenity as possible while also maintaining a compactness in the process, seeing Rafe MacLean Architects express its owners while carving an individual form in the process.
In its location between popular ski field regions, embedding systems and mechanisms to absorb the cold climate was imperative, as was having an adequately sloping roof profile to allow for snow fall. Similar to many homes within snow regions, the use of colour helps create a contrast between the landscape and the built form. It also adds a visual identifier for the owners to connect with. Clad in scoria-coloured colorsteel, the same metal sheeting wraps both the vertical and sloping plans, encasing the home. Small openings control the heat loss, while also framing select and directive views outward.
Built by Davidson Building Ltd, Ross Campion House becomes a relieving point of difference from its neighbours and creates a sense of intrigue into its differences from the surrounding expected suburban response. Internally, the warming wrapped home sees timber run underfoot throughout, while pine plywood runs along the walls and ceilings to mimic the more traditional timber mountain huts in the area. The consistency of finish also helps increase a sense of scale, while bringing an intimate sensibility to the compact home. Opening up on its roof terrace, views of the nearby mountains and famed Lake Wanaka reveal themselves, as a balanced counter to the warm and enclosing interiors.