Natural clarity

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

There’s an authenticity to this setting; it’s a rugged and beautiful place in the turquoise blue waters of the Bay of Islands.

A few hundred metres offshore, this small island is home to only a handful of dwellings, so, from the outset, the house needed to have reverence for its special site.

Architect Paul Francis speaks of designing a home of unpretentious intentions; a place of durability that would blend slowly into the ridgeline in which its form is carved.

Comprising two volumes, connected at their centre by an outdoor room, almost half of the floor area is made up of covered verandahs, allowing the occupants to be intimately connected with the land and seascape.

The exterior cedar wraps inside, where it meets a simple palette of raw, honest materials, each chosen for their simplicity and durability.

“I wanted the house to have that weathered look. We used Dryden WoodOil Clear for the exterior so we could achieve that natural shifting and silvering. By using the clear oil, the timber is protected but it can weather and you get those beautiful colour gradients on different sides of the house depending on their exposure.”

The same WoodOil in Clear was used to finish the interior cedar, to a different effect. Here, the rich earthen tone is maintained — creating a visual interplay between the timber in its original state, and the silvery fawn tones of the exterior.

Inside, the beauty of the timber is consistent with the deep brown hues of the native bush that covers much of the island, creating a series of spaces within which to shelter and connect; outside, it takes on the sandy tones of the coast, allowing the building to slowly recede further into the landscape from which it emerged.

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