The site is a Marlborough vineyard bounded on the north by Spring Creek, a lovely body of gently flowing water. The clients wanted a house that would respond to the creek, the vineyard and the rigors of a young family in a farm type environment. They wanted the house to feel natural and modern, dynamic yet unobtrusive.
The concept takes cues from traditional Japanese architecture with interconnecting wings or pavilions set upon a rock base. The rock base, built up to the level of the Spring Creek stop bank, visually anchors the house to the site and allows for generous views over the water to the north and the vineyard to the south. The wings fan out to create a low lying form, unimposing on the wide landscape.
The spaces between the main pavilions create sheltered areas externally and playful connecting spaces internally. Large sliding external glass doors allow the main living pavilion to be completely opened to outside, while large sliding oak doors allow for flexible use of the internal space.
The materials include exposed concrete floors and walls with cedar, oak and plywood. These materials have been left natural wherever possible. The concrete is heated by both direct sun through expansive northern glazing and from an array of solar hot water panels.