Back Country House

Back Country House add

A secluded bach, an overhauled mock Tudor residence and two sensitively updated heritage villas were among the designs celebrated at the 2017 Auckland Northland Regional ADNZ | Resene Architectural Design Awards, on Friday night.

This week defign tramps into the bush clad hills of Puhoi to visit Back Country House, where we are greeted by the sounds of native birdsong and plumes of wood smoke.

Playing on the uniquely New Zealand typology of the back-country hut, David Maurice of LTD Architectural designed this house for his own family.

Aiming at simplicity, the design comprises a single volume for living, cooking and eating and a lean-to annex houses the lower floor service and sleeping areas.

David says the spaces are open and shared and the experience is one of enhanced connection with each other, and to the surrounding environment.

The living area opens fully on two sides, giving the feel of an outdoor room. The outdoor fireplace and baths located on the deck draw daily activities out of the house and into nature.

Locally sourced bandsawn Macrocarpa timber is used extensively both inside and out.
ADNZ judges described the interior of the bach as ‘feeling calm, clean, and filled with filtered light, a haven despite the wild, back country outside’.

‘Rough-hewn natural materials tie the house effortlessly into its setting, while galvanized corrugated iron is used to strengthen the hut aesthetic. All the spaces within the home are multifunctional and or adaptable, and the detailing exhibits a high level of craft which has been carried through into construction’.

Passive heating and ventilation as well as high performance insulation makes the house a low environmental impact dwelling.

The 2017 ADNZ | Resene Architectural Design Awards judges described David Maurice’s design as ‘a strong building fit for a tough landscape’.

‘The project presents a clear hierarchy of primary wedge form to secondary deck, fireplace and lean-to structures. The building uses distinctly New Zealand cladding materials, including a free-standing large exterior fireplace, which reflects the back-country tradition.

‘Simple systems and spatial devices effect flexible spaces within a clever, compact plan.’


Residential New Home between 150m2 and 300m2 Architectural Design Award and Residential Interiors Architectural Design Award and Regional People's Choice Award
Back Country House by David Maurice of LTD Architectural

Residential Alterations and Additions Architectural Design Award
Brady House by David Maurice of LTD Architectural

Resene Colour in Design Award and Commended in the Residential Interiors category
17 O’Neill by Allan McIntosh of Buildology Ltd

Residential New Home between 150m2 and 300m2 Award
Highly Commended – Hekerua Bay Residence by Mark McLeay and Mark Callander of Creative Arch

Residential Alterations and Additions Award
Commended – Granny’s Bay Residence by Mark McLeay and Mark Callander of Creative Arch
Commended – Lake House Garage, Studio and Walkway David Maurice of LTD Architectural
Commended – Before and After by Lynda Murphy of Paperspaces Architectural Design Ltd.