A look at three different houses

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A Forest for a Moon Dazzler designed by architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe.

A Forest for a Moon Dazzler designed by architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe.

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Burridge Read House.

Burridge Read House.

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Master Builders House of the Year, Remuera
house by Lindesay Construction.

Master Builders House of the Year, Remuera house by Lindesay Construction.

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World Architecture Festival | A Forest for a moon dazzler
Benjamin Garcia Saxe

A Forest for a Moon Dazzler was designed by architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe for his mother, who lives in Costa Rica. Built for
just US$40,000, it was the winner of the ‘House’ category at the World Architecture Festival, governing it the title of 2010’s ‘World’s Best House’.

The description of the bamboo house is fantastical; it describes the house and its context through the way his mother lives in it. “The warmth of the rising sun filters through the leaves and warms the rough wood floors. She knows it’s time to make bread… Every once in a while she wakes up in distress by the chirping noise of her natural alarms; from the carefully placed gravel around the house, to the dry branches that surround her bed. The only thing that gives her comfort is the illuminating sight of the moon moving through the trees.”

Trans-Tasman Timber Design Awards | Burridge Read House
David Boyle Architect

The natural beauty of the surrounding Bouddi National Park inspired the Burridge Read Residence, which won the residential category in the inaugural Trans-Tasman Timber Design Awards late last year. Designed by Australian architect David Boyle, the project is crafted with extensive use of timber.

The timber-framed structure is twisted, stepped and stretched to the edges of the site. The house sits quietly within its forest environment, aided by its materiality: the timber cladding will weather, the use of random vertical cedar battens, railway sleepers within the driveway create bench seating and blackbutt features in the decking and handrail framing. Internally, a range of joinery complements the house’s setting.

“The use of timber was critical to realising the house’s initial design concept,” says Boyle.
The judges noted a strong trend towards the use of wood in all sorts of design and construction, commenting, “While these awards celebrate top-end design and achievement, the use of wood in the wide range of applications is bringing new dimensions to the built environment in which we live, work and play.”

Also of note are the finalists in the residential category: the Coromandel Beach House by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects
and the Mountain Range House in Nelson by Irving Smith Jack Architects.

Master Builders House of the Year | Remuera house
Lindesay Construction

This house in Remuera, Auckland, was the Supreme Winner of the Registered Master Builders 2010 House of the Year. Designed by Christian Anderson, from Sumich Chaplin Architects, and built by Lindesay Construction, it had a very particular brief from the client: to build an eco-friendly house using as many chemical-free materials as possible, which blended in with the property’s 150 trees. In the end, 13 different types of untreated timber were used and every plank came was from a sustainably managed forest. Sourcing this timber was one thing, but getting it approved by a sceptical council was another.
It was the attention to detail that really caught the judges’ eye. They commented, “The craftsmanship is of a level we have not seen before. The house has superb detailing and a quality finish that is rarely seen.”

There is more to this property than first meets the eye. A tennis court and swimming pool were crafted into the natural slope of the garden. The house was designed with wings around an open space in the middle, known as the ‘inner sanctum’. The project was an ingenious design and a worthy winner of the House of the Year.

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