Island Retreat by Fearon Hay Architects

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From its hilltop position, this Waiheke residence enjoys the breathtaking sea views.

From its hilltop position, this Waiheke residence enjoys the breathtaking sea views. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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Draped roof planes are tensioned to the ground plane.

Draped roof planes are tensioned to the ground plane. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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Coloured stone, polished concrete and timber create a warm, simple interior space.

Coloured stone, polished concrete and timber create a warm, simple interior space. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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A calm, muted palette and fine materials creates a rich environment within.

A calm, muted palette and fine materials creates a rich environment within. Image: Penny Hay

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Design pieces are dotted within the interior spaces.

Design pieces are dotted within the interior spaces. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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The aptly named 'Island Retreat' embraces an unique spatial layout.

The aptly named ‘Island Retreat’ embraces an unique spatial layout. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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Vast glazing allows light to radiate outwards in the evenings.

Vast glazing allows light to radiate outwards in the evenings. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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A bold choice of format creates a camp-like spatial experience.

A bold choice of format creates a camp-like spatial experience. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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This idyllic, award-winning home designed by Fearon Hay architects in 2010 caught our eye again after being shortlisted for the 2012 World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards.

Resting in a saddle overlooking Matiatia Bay at the western end of Waiheke Island, this wonderful retreat-like residence, in a spatial sense, is a departure from other sea-side homes in that it is divided into three separate structures shaped around a central courtyard area. 

The architects drew inspiration from a study of lightweight, canopy-like structures to create the structures’ draped roof planes which are tensioned to the ground plane over the interior and exterior spaces. Along with the obvious benefits of shelter and varied views of the surrounding landscape, this bold choice of format has created an intimate, almost camp-like spatial experience.

While from the outside the structure would appear monochromatic and urban in feel, the generous use of glass has allowed uninhibited natural light to flow indoors. This, combined with varied stones and timber has produced a series of open interior spaces which are warm, earthy and uncontrived. The same palette of calm, muted tones is used throughout and complemented with various textures, textiles and splashes of designer luxury.


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