Three Sixty Architecture 9 Wildwood

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Tom Norman
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Hollie Norman
  • Client
    Norman Family

On an earthquake damaged site located at the bottom of a valley, overgrown with plants and home to a surprisingly large flock of Piwakawaka, the brief for this house was to provide a resilient, sustainable envelope that touched the land gently, while providing space for a family to grow. After moving away from earthquakes and floods, comfortable, familiar interior spaces with moments of light and joy were of utmost importance.
The shell of the house is straightforward – an efficient structure, and an airtight, well insulated envelope located on the site to gain maximum solar generation set the constraints. The focus lies in the interior architecture. Through painstaking planning, well placed joinery and furniture, the shell is filled with a collection of spaces that the family could enjoy together or spread out and find their own space. The central void is the real luxury and focal point of the house, playing with form and light, compression and release – it connects the various spaces, as well as the interior to the envelope, and the occupants to the outdoors environment.
Rather than feel brand new, the house reflects elements the family loved in their old houses through timeless materiality, form, and intimate spaces. On the ground floor, in the shared spaces, material selections that evoke memory and warmth make the house feel like it’s always been there. Cork flooring, plywood joinery, small format tiled surfaces and rich velvet curtains all combine to form a welcoming and cosy environment. On the first floor, colourful carpet tiles link the study, kids’ area and bedrooms. The soft pink and blue colour scheme, inspired by the valley’s amazing sunrises, carries through to the two bathrooms, and provides an unexpected, but somehow familiar, connection to the natural environment.