PHOTO: Mawhiti House. THE LOCAL PROJECT
In the midst of Waiheke Island, New Zealand, an architect has fashioned a concealed dwelling known as Mawhiti House. Crafted to offer a unique New Zealand encounter, this distinctive abode was envisioned for two sisters seeking an extraordinary holiday retreat, a haven of tranquility and repose. Rooted in the concept of restoration and rejuvenation, the architect skillfully designed a hidden sanctuary exuding a profound sense of calm. Nestled on an expansive parcel of land, Mawhiti House is enveloped by native bushland, presenting sweeping ocean vistas accessible from its kitchen, bathrooms, and living spaces. Stephens Lawson Architects meticulously shaped the form to embrace the owners and their guests throughout the year. As evident in the house tour, Mawhiti House seamlessly intertwines functionality with a spiritually rich ambiance, drawing inspiration from the essence of a rural barn.
Complementing the Waiheke Island dwelling is a gateway pavilion, a structural augmentation crafted from timber to elevate the living experience. Assembled from raw, natural wood components, the pavilion provides a distinctive perspective of Waiheke Island’s surroundings. The house tour illuminates the ongoing dialogue between the residence and the pine wood gateway, evident in their triangular forms and shared timber architecture. The dwelling, divided into three pavilions, gracefully sprawls across the site, harmonizing with the landscape as if it were an intrinsic part of it. Micro courtyards, interspersed between the pavilions and adjacent to the bathrooms, enhance the overall experience for both the owners and their guests. Each courtyard is thoughtfully distinct, contributing to the richness of the dwelling. For instance, one courtyard boasts a Japanese-style bath, offering extraordinary views of the surroundings.
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The interior design and architecture of the home radiate a soulful ambiance through the use of tactile and earthy materials. Purposefully eschewing shiny and reflective surfaces, the architect has curated an environment that fosters restoration, featuring warm pine ceilings and burnished concrete floors. The house tour unveils walls adorned in a gentle white hue, intensifying the soothing and revitalizing atmosphere. From the kitchen to the bedrooms and bathrooms, the interior design of this sanctuary is meticulously crafted to facilitate moments of relaxation, showcasing expansive views of the New Zealand surroundings. In designing this hidden abode, the architect’s intention is clear—to provide inhabitants with a secluded sanctuary for solitude and retreat.