Project size: 2,000 square feet

Program: Between 2007 and 2012, the architect built a cluster of four houses to provide holiday accommodations in a New Zealand forest. Sheltered under a canopy of eucalyptus trees. In 2014, a cyclone cleared the forest, and the design team was charged with repairing and refinishing the houses to make them suitable for a newly exposed site with stronger sun and wind.

Location: Golden Bay, New Zealand

Solution: Updates were made to the buildings in anticipation of the site’s shifting landscape, which will become a forest again over time. A shade building, which filters light and sits low for to allow the four main structures to recede behind, was added. Frames tack lightly to existing structures, widening cover and shadow to provide privacy and retreat. These new elements are adaptable and expect to be repositioned and changed as the forest grows.

Construction and materials: The second roofs designed to protect from falling branches continue to collect rainwater. Without the moderating influence of the forest, the new work extends the exterior steel framework for greater shelter and re-proportions the buildings and their recessive timber finishes to this new and cleared landscape.


Additional Information

Completion date: 2017

Gross square footage: 2,000 square feet

Total project cost: withheld

Total construction cost: withheld

Client/Owner: withheld




Irving Smith Architects
180 Bridge Street
New Zealand
+64 3 5481372


Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Jeremy Smith, Design Architect/Director (Registered Architect)
Andrew Irving (Registered Architect)
Blair Sigley

Architect of record: Irving Smith Architects

Engineers: CDT Consulting Engineers.

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds