Rawene Houses

On a beautiful urban headland in Auckland, two houses create an encampment for three generations of family. For legal reasons, the new buildings had to occupy the footprints of the two existing houses on the site. The new composition comprises a new house, originally designed as a studio and guest house and now occupied by grandparents, and a totally transformed main house. This, the largest of the two, provides a family home for two teenage children and adults.

A tennis court was removed to provide more outdoor space, and the site was totally re-landscaped to provide a sequence of outdoor spaces that link the two buildings and provide privacy.

Above one area the large theatre steps out on a lively grouping of fine brightly-coloured columns, to allow visual inks between the second house and the garden of the main house, and also suggest a degree of separation.

The previous house had been of the arts and crafts style, but left with little maintenance and had decayed to a sad extent. The new houses offer a different atmosphere, with bright open spaces, high studs, and bright colours to invoke energy and vitality.

The clients work from home. As well as six bedrooms and bathrooms, the houses contain a music studio, painting studio, large theatre, office and multiple sitting rooms.

Conceived as a range of coloured panels defining the spaces they enclose, with outspreading beams to extend the forms in to space, the houses present a range of colours and proportions on the outside which introduce the energy of the interior spaces. Exterior sheltered terraces offer shelter from the prevailing winds. Photovoltaic panels and solar hot water units cover the roof.