At the Edge of the Rainforest – V House by Chris Tate Architecture
Titirangi, West Auckland, New Zealand

Photography Archi Capture
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Hovering over a significant wetland, Chris Tate Architecture’s V House, expressed through long planes and simple junctions, takes inspiration from modernist masters.

Located in Titirangi southwest of Auckland, V House takes a front row seat at the edge of a rainforest. Such conditions call for a delicate and sensitive approach, and the resulting v-shaped structure that pins the home to the site is the element that also allows it to exist in such a unique location. With the concentrated transfer of the overall structure’s load reduced to the tip of each of these geometric elements, the building can then sit as it does, hovering over the significant wetland below. Chris Tate Architecture brings a resolute refinement to both execution and curiosity in concealing the complexities of such a site, showcasing them as sculptural intended elements.

Chris Tate Architecture brings a resolute refinement to both execution and curiosity in concealing the complexities of such a site, showcasing them as sculptural intended elements.

Inspired by the many masters of modernism, V House is the result of a reductionist approach, concealing as many pragmatic, structural and functional elements from site. Although the expressed ‘v’ steel element is not concealed, all other beams and supports are strategically masked within the overall frame. Anchored at one end, the majority of the home sits atop its masonry base, and the home’s master bedroom then sits cantilevered over the edge. As a play on opening and closing, revealing and concealing elements allow for privacy from neighbouring properties, while revealing the rainforest and vegetation beyond.

Inspired by the many masters of modernism, V House is the result of a reductionist approach, concealing as many pragmatic, structural and functional elements from site.

Extending from the large shared living, dining and kitchen area, the large sliding glass doors open the home to the elements beyond.

Spanning 300 square metres, the home feels deceptively larger, a feat achieved through the extension of long linear planes of concrete, timber and glass. Throughout, there are strategically curated vistas for viewing outward, allowing the interior to engage with the exterior visually. Extending from the large shared living, dining and kitchen area, the large sliding glass doors open the home to the elements beyond. The dark timber stained deck further elongates the cantilevered form, offering a gentle and slight stepping from the formal structure to the landscaped garden that sits at the centre of the home.

Chris Tate Architecture’s experience of working within these delicate conditions surrounding Auckland enables a unique meeting of the contemporary built form and the natural environment.

V House takes the essence of the modernist home, referencing the architectural pioneers that came before it, and apply the principles of openness to both the planning and formal envelope of house. Through an understanding and sensitivity to context, Chris Tate Architecture’s experience of working within these delicate conditions surrounding Auckland enables a unique meeting of the contemporary built form and the natural environment.

Published 9 May, 2020
Photography  Archi Capture
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