The Wairarapa Haybarn / First Light Studio

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© Jason Mann Photography © Jason Mann Photography
© Jason Mann Photography © Jason Mann Photography

Text description provided by the architects. This barn-inspired home offers a striking reference to rural vernacular. Long and lean, the form is remarkably simple. A monolithic roof plane sweeps up past the large established walnut tree to form a double-height concert hall living space with mezzanine viewing gallery for the two retired musicians to practice, play and entertain friends.

Ground Floor Plan Ground Floor Plan

The owners moved to be closer to family in Wellington but settled in the Wairarapa, wanting to make the most of the more temperate climate and beautiful sunny evenings. Their musical interest drove the design to create an acoustically, environmentally conscious and accessible home that felt compact but could

© Jason Mann Photography
© Jason Mann Photography
© Jason Mann Photography
accommodate extended family.

© Jason Mann Photography © Jason Mann Photography

Much like a hay barn, in this design form follows function. The double-height roof cleverly accommodates a double garage and workshop at ground level and guest two bedroom and bathroom loft above. Adjacent to this, the open-plan kitchen / living / dining room takes advantage of the high ceiling. To the northeast end of the house, the main sleeping quarters domestic-scaled 2.4m stud height creates more modest volumes. The terrace wraps around the eastern façade offering the perfect sheltered spot for a quiet morning coffee. Services are efficiently oriented along the southern spine of the house, with generous laundry, kitchen, bathroom and separate WC facilities. A highly insulated nearly airtight envelope clad in corrugated iron and shiplap redwood is practical yet warmly references the redwood groves surrounding their previous family home.

© Jason Mann Photography © Jason Mann Photography

The awning, a reinterpretation of the Wairarapa veranda shelters the northern façade from the hot summer sun while creating an impressive entrance. The established Walnut became a central figure in the design, linking the outdoor and indoor dining spaces with dappled light while naturally mediating temperature in the house with its seasonal changes.

© Jason Mann Photography © Jason Mann Photography
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