COMMON Ltd 9 Harbour View Cabin

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Tobin Smith
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    Daniel Sullivan, Kate Sullivan, Jessica Short

The Harbour View Cabin (or Roger’s House) is a modest abode situated at the foot of the Port Hills, overlooking Lyttelton Harbour in Banks Peninsula.

Our client, Roger, is an older gentleman (80+ years), but is as fit as a fiddle. In fact he has become a bit of a custodian of this land, spending the last five years planting five hundred native seedlings on the 3,300m2 section to help rejuvenate the former grazing land. His wants were simple, a two-bedroom home that sat considerately within its surroundings, orientated to maximise sunlight and views from the primary living spaces.

The design process explored the notion of senescence in architecture, ie; how could something obviously new visually predate its year of construction? The modestly scaled 100m2 footprint, with its symmetrical floor plan and gable roof form is familiar to the colonial harbour town. Exposed timber trusses and recycled timber linings are reminiscent of a mid-century archetype, creating a contemporary adaptation of a pre-existing typology.

The project utilises considered yet cost effective materials to create a rich interior pallet that respected the client’s budget. Recycled Rimu tongue and groove (ex floor boards) line both the floor and ceiling, installed to celebrate every perfect imperfection. Laminate-faced Birch Plywood clads custom joinery elements in simple black and white, complimented by a rich royal blue carpet within the bedrooms and mezzanine office.

Sunlight is a sought after commodity in this south-facing township, and so a mezzanine office and roof ‘pop’ positioned centrally over the ground floor bathrooms draws morning sunlight in to the primary living spaces. High-level glazing ensures every last moment of daylight is captured over the ridge of the distant Port Hills throughout the day.

Like Roger, the house feels welcoming and immediately familiar. It fits the man like a glove…..Roger has wrinkles, the house has wrinkles too……