Lake Hayes Cottage


2020 Southern Architecture Awards Winner
2020 New Zealand Architecture Awards Winner

‘The additions to a two-storey cottage nestled into large trees have been expertly handled to enhance the existing building and make the most of the site’s natural advantages. The management of the proportional relationship between the two forms is masterful, as is the treatment of such project elements as the spanning of a watercourse, the overhang on the addition, and the white slatted screens that serve to tie the buildings together. The cottage is both evocative of another time and ideal for contemporary occupation.’ NZIA

The site is at the edge of a large rural setting with established trees with horses grazing in the surrounding paddocks. The client brief was to take an existing dilapidated cottage and create a two-bedroom home.  The old weatherboard cottage has been relocated to a low terrace nestled against the side of a steep hill between two old oak trees – overlooking the rural vista. The terrace upon which the home sits is a ‘ha-ha’ – traditionally a terrace edge used to keep stock out.  The dwelling spans an old water race with the old cottage to the northern side, housing the main living spaces, with a ‘bridge’ glazed link connecting to the ‘barn’ bedroom wing tucked in against the hill for more privacy and seclusion. The design philosophy was to retain the cottage form but add on with a layering of additional rural buildings. The ‘outhouse’ to the east side is a reconstruction of the original building. The two-storey ‘barn’ to the rear, overlooks the cottage, in scale with the hill behind. The linking glass ‘bridge’ spans the race providing additional space for relaxing and contemplation, a linear space, drawing one’s eye out to the land. The verandah reinstated to the front created an edge on which to sit and an informal connection to ground  The use of traditional timber and rustic corrugate materials were important to create texture and a connection to the history of the cottage and the rural context in which it now sits. Sliding screens add a crisp modern touch and flexibility to the spaces for privacy and filtered light.  Interior details use traditional pressed tin for ceilings and doors, existing timber flooring, reused timber boards, and leather detailing, creating enveloping warmth and a connection to the cottage history.

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