Off-grid A-frame home turns into a sculpture by night
New Zealand architectural firm RTA Studio has recently completed a stunning compact family home that fades into its environment like an artistic sculpture reminiscent of a coastal harbor marker. In fact, at night, when the shutters are closed and interior lights turned on, the home is a shining work of art.
Located across from Medland’s Beach on New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island, Dune Dormer is a striking three-bedroom A-frame family home, which embraces all aspects of sustainability, indigenous traditions and simplistic design. Inspired by traditional Maori timber huts (whares) and the rich New Zealand coastal landscape, Dune Dormer was built with the intention of respecting its surroundings. It embraces the concept of "living with the land and sleeping with the sky," all the while maintaining a minimal footprint on the land.
The 110-sqm (1184-sq-ft) home is built with concrete foundations, steel framing and timber throughout. The concrete foundation is pivotal to the home's construction process, providing a solid foundation above the sandy terrain, and enabling the architects to achieve the home's dramatically high pitched-roof ceilings.
The home features natural timber finishings, a large contemporary timber kitchen, open dining and living spaces, multiple outdoor timber terraces with ocean views, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Stretching over two levels, the home takes advantage of the pitched-roof height, allowing for a portion of the attic to be exposed, while overlooking the lower level living areas and creating dramatic cathedral-high ceilings. This design aspect adds volume to the home and the feeling of additional space, while also flooding the home's interior with natural light.
"We have placed bedrooms in the 'attic', connecting each respective sleeping zone with either the ocean’s horizon or the bush," explained RTA Studio. "This released the entire ground floor for flexible, communal living."
The home is also fitted with timber-slated shutter-screens that close the building up entirely, protecting it from the ocean air and also providing privacy at night.
What's more, the home has been built to be entirely off-grid, boasting rooftop solar panels, a rainwater collection system, on-site storm water disposal, and passive interior ventilation. There is even enough left-over storage room to stow a boat beneath the floorboards, achievable thanks to the home's descending topography.
Dune Dormer is a stunning example of off-grid design, and was recently the recipient of a 2022 NZIA Auckland Architecture Award.
Source: RTA Studio via Archdaily
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I know, I know: I am a buzzkill. I want to know whether this is just another of the dozens of school projects that won't be built.