A Considered Connection to Site – Taumata by Warren and Mahoney Architects
Bendemeer, New Zealand

Photography Marina Matthews
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Imagined as a home that speaks to the traditional and historical language of the area with a current and contemporary relevance, Taumata is an occasional home with a considered connection to its site. Warren and Mahoney Architects takes influence from the site’s unique context and proposes a home that sits hugging its landscape and very much propelled toward it.

Located in the rural enclave of Bendemeer, Taumata is sited near the popular, quaint Arrowtown, while still afforded its own remoteness. Elevated above extended views towards the nearby town and surrounding undulating landscape, this occasional home is ideally located to take optimal advantage of immersion within such abundance of nature. Warren and Mahoney Architects combines a contemporary relevance with a connection to the site’s history and the traditional formality and weightiness of schist buildings found in the area.

Located in the rural enclave of Bendemeer, Taumata is sited near the popular, quaint Arrowtown, while still afforded its own remoteness.

Elevated above extended views towards the nearby town and surrounding undulating landscape, this occasional home is ideally located to take optimal advantage of immersion within such abundance of nature.

Imagined as an escape to be enjoyed in both winter and summer months, the structure sits rigid on its undulating site, almost as if it is lodged on a rock amongst the landscape. Overtly horizontal, the expressive nature of its long outstretching form is a reference to Modernist architecture and the experimentation with long spans and testing limits during that era. Similar to nearby Amisfield winery, the reference to traditional stone materiality connects the building with the elements collected from site’s nearby for its construction. Utilising traditional building methods, a series of schist walls (reappropriated from a remnant nearby ruin) prop the upper level and create a levelled platform upon which the building mass perches. Navigating the undulating landscape, a staged approach nestles elements into the sloping site and creates platforms for the structure to anchor to.

Warren and Mahoney Architects takes influence from the site’s unique context and proposes a home that sits hugging its landscape and very much propelled toward it.

A home of three bedrooms with open and connected living areas, the emphasis of Taumata is clearly its location. Each internal space has a direct connection to the landscape beyond, offering a constant reminder of its enviable location. Both internally and externally, there is knowing restraint used in the selection of materiality and its application on site. Sandwiched between long-spanning masonry slabs, a darked timber and glazing band wraps the entirety of the home, creating a balance between the texture subtleties of the timber and the sleek coolness of the glass. Internally a similar approach sees long spanning lines left uninterrupted, while allowing and encouraging sightlines outward. With furniture by Lisa Jane Interiors, the experience is one of immersion, bunkered to the home’s flat silhouette and unimposing presence in the landscape.

Imagined as an escape to be enjoyed in both winter and summer months, the structure sits rigid on its undulating site, almost as if it is lodged on a rock amongst the landscape.

Sandwiched between long spanning masonry slabs, a darked timber and glazing band wraps the entirety of the home, creating a balance between the texture subtleties of the timber and the sleek coolness of the glass.

Taumata beautifully captures its unique rural positioning and creates a warm haven, generously engulfed in its incredible surrounding landscape. Through restraint and an understanding of context, Warren and Mahoney has proposed a considered home, as connected to its history as its current and enviable site.

Published 20 August, 2020
Photography  Marina Matthews
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