Back in black

Concealed on a bush-clad hillside site above Piha, the dark facade of this home mimics the tones of the ironsand on the beach below.

A contemporary home of rhythm and green

This family home, on the edge of Cox’s Bay Reserve in Westmere, Auckland, was conceived as a place of privacy — a contemporary urban abode incorporating considered moments of whimsy.

Reimagined glory

Marrying the elegance and style of New York with the outdoors lifestyle of Auckland, this elegant Remuera house delivers the best of both worlds.

Moonlight on the hill

This home on Moonlight Bay Road hangs perilously above the Tasman Sae a mere five minutes’ drive from downtown Raglan.

A matter of duality

On an enviable Northland site, this family home is a place of elegance and light – a sculptural addition to the rural landscape.

Raglan rest

In the foothills of Karioi, dark cedar cloaks a home surrounded by lush greenery in a vast and encompassing landscape.

Golden glow

This Auckland home is made up of a trio of individual but allied cubic forms using terracotta, corrugate, and a polycarbonate that positively glows in the dark like an urban lantern.

City and sea

On the shores of Sydney Harbour, New Zealand–born Australian architect Richard Archer devised a home of connections with the water and city beyond

On point

The interior flow of this waterfront, central Auckland apartment has been reimagined by Four Walls Architecture with flow and minimalism in mind.

Light on the crater

This North Shore home by JCA Studio is sandwiched between two different layers of building code.

Much aroha

New Zealand’s second apartment complex to have ever achieved the top Homestar rating is an urban experiment focused on people and their place in the land, rather than strictly about architectural form.

Living sculpture

From the street, this elegant white house looks like a close cousin of its neighbours. Two peaked gables and a verandah with a bull-nosed roof give a shout-out to the surrounding villas. But all is not as it seems.

Two bricks together

On a prominent corner site in central Christchurch, a cuboid brick house bridges the divide between residential and commercial.

Street life

On a steep, narrow site in Wellington, this family home cascades down over various levels, connected by a central spine to the north.

Dear architect…

A family-centric, semi-courtyard home with an internal, slow, staggered reveal takes pride in its privacy and as an entertainment mecca.

Lake Rotoiti house

Unfolding across two visually distinct levels, this holiday home on the shore of Lake Rotoiti is envisioned as a winter house — a concrete bunker of sorts nestled into the hillside.

Follow the sun

Coastal locations call for special consideration of material and performance. In this case, on a farm on a clifftop in Northland, the site is exposed and the elements are harsh.

The local compass

Pointing due north, The Dart is a direct and simple response to the topography of Mangawhai’s Bream Tail Farm.

A north arrow

On a clifftop that makes up part of the expansive and undulating land of Mangawhai’s Bream Tail Farm, this sculptural holiday home responds beautifully to its rural and coastal environs.

New wave

Inspired by a heritage church, this suburban Christchurch home uses its sinuous form for both impact and functionality.

Timber enclave

Bounded by farmland, and beneath a simple gabled form, this home is designed around layered moments of unexpected eccentricity.   Surrounded by Cantabrian farmland, the home

Three by the pond

AW Architects has designed a house in Bendemeer with three, very distinct volumes and equally diverse personalities: the birdwatcher, the socialite, and the sheep shearer who’s scrubbed up well.

Echo in the hills

This certified passive house is the sum of many parts — some conflicting, others converging; but as one, the innate tensions deliver an enviable and powerful presence. 

Ode to the seasons

A high-performing holiday home in Wanaka plays with height and light, compression and expansion.

Cabin on the coast

This coastal cabin in Mangawhai Heads has a lot going for it. With 270-degree views out across the ocean and back towards the Brynderwyns, it’s

Bringing the Hamptons to Takapuna Beach

The 2021 City Home of the Year, House on Takapuna Beach by CAAHT Studio, met the challenge of the fishbowl effect, as beach goers and dog walkers promenade the sand beyond the site’s border.

Refined, beautiful, natural

New Zealand residential architecture is dominated by the use of timber, both as an exterior cladding and joinery material, and for internal detailing — and there’s good reason for that.

A modern stone

HOME and Peter Fell present: A Modern Stone, an exploration of concrete in the 2021 Home of the Year, Black Quail House by Bergendy Cooke.

Wind in its sails

With the sun on its bow and the community at its stern, this is a house in which the elements are always front of mind. 

Home of the Year 2021: Black Quail House

A mature and restrained response to an awe-inspiring location. The architect has combined a wide range of influences — from Sri Lankan to her own, impressive international career — to achieve a quintessentially local response to site, context, and history.

Multi-Unit Home of the Year 2021: FARM House

Although modest in size and budget, this Auckland multi-generational home puts the client at its heart while at the same time future-proofing the asset for any potential uses that might eventuate.

The house that punk built

There’s anarchy in Avondale and it looks a lot like Eames, it sounds a bit like Joey Ramone, and it has its heart set on placemaking.

Remote escape

On the edge of a bluff at Palliser Bay, this isolated holiday home stands firm in a sparse landscape.

From the green

Mário Luz devises a simple form — three cedar boxes anchored by a central concrete spine — that settles effortlessly into a flat, rural Cantabrian landscape.

Little house on the hill

Wellington architects Bonnifait + Giesen explore their long-standing fascination with prefab and show how this Gisborne home fits snugly within that evolution.

Green gables

On a typical Westmere street, this black-clad double-gabled home stands tall — unrecognisable from the original bungalow whose bones were used to form the basis of an extensive renovation. 

Delta force

Approaching Jerram Tocker Barron Architects to design a new house on one of Nelson’s steepest streets put the owners on a trajectory to conjuring up an intriguing, diamond-pattern facade.

Next stop, Argentina

There’s something confronting and powerful about looking out to the horizon and seeing nothing but the ocean, knowing the next major landmass is thousands of kilometres away. 

Garden pavilion

Michael O’Sullivan folds the sun into an arc — a beautifully curved pavilion that responds to a mature garden on a site just north of Christchurch’s central city.

Taking flight

Pastoral stone barns and a black steel butterfly find common ground on an idyllic plateau above Lake Wakatipu.

Links to the sea

On a Mangawhai golf course, a glass-box pavilion is ruptured by three inverted cones. Pip Cheshire discusses the ideas and process that turned this seemingly simple concept into something entirely magnetic.

Living on the edge: New Zealand’s best clifftop homes

There’s something about clifftop homes in New Zealand. Maybe it’s a sense of living on the edge or the desire to find the most picturesque spot to watch the sunrise. Here are five clifftop homes where the architect has done justice to the dramatic surroundings.

At the bay

A difficult, yet awe-inspiring site called for a radical solution: breaking a Bay of Islands holiday bach in two. 

Of timber and texture

Lovell & O’Connell Architects devises a rhythmic form that pays homage to a tight Wellington site.

Under the inversion

Wrapped in corrugate and spanning just under 110m², this unassuming home on a hill above the small town of Luggate is powerful beyond its volume.

Family Affair

Designed and built by family members, this house in Leigh is steeped in heritage and ancestry.

Wharf above the orchard

Tim and Alison Hay first occupied this home around 15 years ago. They had bought the site in north-west Auckland three years earlier when it was an old orchard with a number of paddocks.

The sea below

John Irving creates a home that falls away to the ocean in Northland. It’s a bit Palm Springs, this house. It’s a bit casual, and it’s a bit dramatic — but only in just the right amounts.

Bungalow high

On a bend in the road in a historic area of Remuera, Auckland, this large site had been mostly unused for decades. An original 1930s bungalow had a certain charm, but its layout and orientation didn’t lend itself to contemporary family life — or make the most of the site.

Coastal wilderness

On the divide between suburban street and wild dunescape, Brian White carves a retreat from a singular form.

Swamp house

The nickname “swamp house” expresses the home’s proximity to the marshy paddocks resting below it on the Crown Range between Queenstown and Wanaka but it

Modern lake bach

Bach living is a stripped-back approach to life: family time spent eating, playing board games and puzzles in the evening, and during the day getting outside and enjoying what the natural environment has to offer – water sports, backyard cricket and mountain biking.

Cruciform house

A spacious Mid-Century modern-inspired home in Orakei proves that you don’t need a huge amount of land to have four bedrooms and multiple living spaces, particularly when less than half of the home touches the ground.

Rewind and redefined

It’s a familiar story: when youngsters enter the picture, the excitement of the big-city dream tends to pale. Childhood memories of beaches, open space and

Sailing home

A Kerr Ritchie–designed home influenced by a love for the outdoors. Liisa hand-made a flag that read “Boys aboard”. The idea was to hoist it onto the mast of their catamaran while approaching a new port, thus alerting other boatie families that young children had arrived and any form of socialising would be welcomed.

Diamonds in the rough

Claude Megson’s unique contribution to New Zealand architecture had almost disappeared from view when this house, his masterpiece, was saved from demolition. These days, its

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The lookout

Perched on a hill above the tiny coastal settlement of Ligar Bay, this two-tiered bach was designed to capture the view in absolute purity, playing with a dialogue that pushes and pulls between solidity and transparency.

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Natural clarity

Designed to merge into its coastal environs, this island home utilises board and batten cedar cladding to create a gentle visual rhythm that moves gracefully between indoors and out.

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Al fresco connection

Utilising the existing design language of a mid-century modern home in Remuera, Johnston Architects and Bespoke Interior Design set about redesigning a pool house and creating an outdoor room, resulting in a trio of interconnected areas spanning indoors and out.

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Angle grinder

During a visit to Waiheke a decade or so ago, an architect was struck by a simple, refined sculpture and the way that its ad hoc form, created from a roll of corrugated iron, twisted down a hillside, creating and enclosing spaces.

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City bach

Best known for synthesising and reimagining the humble bach, Herbst Architects has modified its style for this impressive city home on Auckland’s North Shore.

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Product of the week

Latest features

The lookout

Perched on a hill above the tiny coastal settlement of Ligar Bay, this two-tiered bach was designed to capture the view in absolute purity, playing with a dialogue that pushes and pulls between solidity and transparency.

Read More »

Natural clarity

Designed to merge into its coastal environs, this island home utilises board and batten cedar cladding to create a gentle visual rhythm that moves gracefully between indoors and out.

Read More »