Volcano House

Auckland | 2018

Winner - NZIA Auckland Awards 2018 - Housing

Located in proximity to one of Auckland’s volcanic cones, the site is enclosed by adjacent suburban gardens and micro-utopia. The plan is introspective, with living areas centred around a courtyard opening to sub-courtyards. Rooms are grouped according to their function; these groups are conceived as collection of boulders as if cast from the nearby volcano and defining the boundary of the building. Glass spans between these elements to enclose the main living space and create circulation.

 
 
 

The ritual of entry is celebrated by a threshold of timber decking that deliberately glances the rough-textured stone wall opening to the courtyard.

A stream, a bridge, a crossing between worlds. 

 
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Totara is used for decks and soffits. This protected native timber has been sourced from ancient logs, that were felled and lost in the river over a century ago.  They have been preserved in the cold, low oxygen depths of Northland’s rivers and have been located by divers, processed and milled specifically for the project.

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Local volcanic basalt cladding wraps from the exterior to the interior, shifting in texture from a rough exterior finish to a smoother surface internally. The volcanic material reinforces the concept as a formal response to the surrounding volcanic environment.

 
 
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Stone walls provide a permanent, impenetrable sense of mass and solidity, softened by texture and the warm hues of timber. Carefully detailed window joinery and glazing free the roof from the floor and walls expressing a harmony between lightness and gravity.

 
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Photography
Simon Devitt
Builder
WG de Gruchy Construction