A holiday house should be functional, beautiful and restful. The Back Country House by David Maurice of LTD Architectural Design Studio ticks all these boxes and more. Set on a bush block, the cabin boasts a simple and clean silhouette reminiscent of New Zealand's backcountry architecture. The house was designed for a young family who needed a place to escape their busy lives to reconnect with each other and with nature.
The cabin offers both of these opportunities in abundance. The heart of the dwelling is the single volume space for communal living/cooking and eating while the lean-to annex houses the lower floor service/sleeping areas.
The living area opens fully on two sides, opening up the house's inhabitants to nature and vice versa. Cleverly designed baths are installed on the front deck. So you can soak with a view, they also act as a ledge for dangling your legs when a table is placed over the top. The bedrooms offer respite and calm, while also providing a practical workplace if inspiration strikes.
The architects made use of locally sourced bandsawn macrocarpa to both clad the building and create the interior. This respectful use of the beautiful timber gives the cabin a feeling of timelessness. Its north facing glazing and considered design allow the house to have a minimal environmental footprint.
Its high-performance insulation allows the house to heat and ventilate for much of the year. While the house's rough-hewn timber exterior and galvanized corrugated iron roof evoke imagery of a backcountry shack, the interior is a far cry from camping.
The interior of the cabin is fitted with local timber used in conjunction with matte white surfaces. The two materials are left to speak for themselves with no trims or beads used in the joinery. Just highly crafted joints that express the talent of the tradespeople.
Other interior details, like the use of matte black light fitting amongst the white and timber palette, give the cabin a feeling of practicality and comfort. This house will be a slice of heaven in the lives of its owners for many years to come.
The dwelling is called the “Back Country House”. Back country is a term used in New Zealand and Canada to describe wilderness outside urban areas. Usually, these are national parks or unpopulated private forests.
LTD Architectural is an award-winning New Zealand architectural office based in Silverdale outside of Auckland. The firm began in 2008 with a mission to raise the standard of their local built environment. The two principles David Maurice and Joseph Long strive to create buildings that ‘reflect the character of the people who live in them and place in which they live.’ LTD’s architecture is sensitive to site as well as acknowledging the physical and cultural contexts of their clients. The collaborative team of designers and architects who make up the firm give a precedence to locally sourced materials and every project aims to have the smallest environmental impact possible.