Grounded Fortress – Tutukaka House by Crosson Architects
North Island, New Zealand

Photography Simon Devitt
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Grounded in dark and earthy tones, Tutukaka House sits like a fortress in its remote location at the northern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. Crosson Architects combines dark resilient forms and materials with contrasting translucent elements to create a dynamic interplay between the strong façade and welcoming interior.

Imagined as a place of reclusive reprieve from the bustle of the client’s city home, Tutukaka House stands as a primal symbol of resilience – as an outpost of sorts. Located at the northern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, the house sits unoccupied for most of the year. In response, the dark timber-clad façade is designed offer a closed face when not in use, before folding and sliding open like a fortress. Within this protective shell, Crosson Architects brings a refinement to the execution of the home, contrasting the dark ominous tones and materiality of the exterior with glimpses of a glowing interior through varying levels of translucency and transparency.

Imagined as a place of reclusive reprieve from the bustle of the client’s city home, Tutukaka House stands as a primal symbol of resilience – as an outpost of sorts.

While on approach the form offers a bold and grounded feel, the interior is more welcoming, and the utilisation of lighter timber elements throughout enables a familiar sense of cabin comfort to unfold.

Designed around a central spine structure, rooms populate according to their intended accompanying views. The approach to both external and internal materiality is one intended to emanate a relaxed holiday vibe, and in this case, the expansive use of varying species and forms of timber was the answer. While on approach the form offers a bold and grounded feel, the interior is more welcoming, and the utilisation of lighter timber elements throughout enables a familiar sense of cabin comfort to unfold.

Designed around a central spine structure, rooms populate according to their intended accompanying views.

Designed around a central spine structure, rooms populate according to their intended accompanying views.

Opening out to an expansive deck, the deliberate location of the living spaces acts as an extension of the outdoors, to optimise on the most afforded northern aspect and views. An accompanying outdoor area, one more suited to cooler climatic conditions, is located on the north-west edge of the home, where shelter is provided along with the BBQ and outdoor hearth. Responding to their function, the bedroom spaces are offered additional protection from the elements and integrated privacy through the application of operable shutters. These allow for passive cooling and ventilation, while offering a sense of shelter and enclosure.

Crosson Architects combines dark resilient forms and materials with contrasting translucent elements to create a dynamic interplay between the strong façade and welcoming interior.

Crosson Architects warm the bunker-esque formation through the extensive use of timber both internally and externally, truly celebrating the cabin and fortress vernacular.

Tutukaka House sits as a single-storey home that responds to its remote location and is capable of closing into itself through the folding and protective façade. Crosson Architects warm the bunker-esque formation through the extensive use of timber both internally and externally, combining the design language of a defensive fortress with a comfortable cabin.

Tlp Tutukaka Crosson Architects 02
Published 8 May, 2020
Photography  Simon Devitt
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