Local Rock House is a summer residence on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Designed by Pattersons in 2010, the house has a total floor area of 395m² (4,252ft²).
A place famous for fine vineyards with illustrious names such as Cable Bay, ManOWar and Passage Rock. The island is also the location for some of Auckland’s finest holiday houses and this home is located on a steep coastal escarpment above a tree fringed white sand beach on its northern coast. The quality of the Waiheke wine is attributed to its geology; seams of pyrite rock criss cross the island like veins. It’s this geology that gives the grapes, primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, their distinctive local Waiheke taste. The design uses this same local pyrite stratum as a building material to create a sense of place and belonging in its Architecture. The rocky mass of the home was been arranged as a bridge, open both sides to exploit both the beach frontage and the afternoon sun. Under this, a main living area nestles safely into the escarpment between a spacious ocean-front pool terrace and a grotto-like western courtyard to the west. The owners often use this grotto as an outdoor movie theatre. Bedroom suites are grouped above as finely scaled, romantic and louvered lookouts in the canopy line of the trees lining the clear waters of the beach. The home has been designed to sustainably belong on the island; it uses an innovative air heating and cooling system to provide an efficient, even temperature gradient right through all levels, as well as incorporating an onsite waste treatment station and a reticulated water system with a large rain storage facility. But Pattersons say it’s the way the building uses its rock materiality to belong in the beauty of its setting that is truly sustainable as it enables its occupants to feel the same way.
Photographs by Simon Devitt
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