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Ungaro bach
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Ungaro bach


Opuawhanga, Northland

This project grew from the natural progression of the client’s existing 3 x 3, rustic, solar powered, pot belly heated and much loved self built, but outgrown, cedar cabin on a ‘nondescript’ rural site 40 minutes north of Whangarei.

Conceived as a contemporary but simplistic take on the rural ‘barn’, the modest three bedroom dwelling is formed from a single linear profile, with attic trusses providing ample storage and space for expansion for the future in the roof space.

The holiday and weekend accommodation is entirely powered from a diesel generator (while also catering for future solar expansion) with simple BBQ and gas powered cooking facilities. Rounded off roof edges eliminate the notion of traditional eaves and alludes to often found farm and rural icons - hay bales, half moon hay barns, and corrugated water tanks for livestock.

Embracing the outdoors, an ample covered loggia makes the transition between inside and outside effortless, and eternally frames the picturesque and formerly ‘non-descript’ vistas from this native bush hugged site.

New Zealand farm and rural vernacular is typified by the dark khaki green, and deep heritage red of thousands of decaying and much used barns and farm buildings nationwide. Thus it seemed only natural to reference the deep ‘pioneer’ red colour of these common farm buildings in the exterior timber cladding through the use of Resene Lumbersider in Resene Pioneer Red. Stabilising and grounding this are the familiar Ironsand corrugated iron roofing and exterior ‘legs’ of the dwelling.

Resene Pioneer Red
Resene Pioneer Red

The building is contemporary in its form and proportion, yet offers a respectful nod to the values and culture that have created it.

Ungaro bach

Ungaro bach interior

Ungaro bach interior

Custom made seam sealed curved flashings are applied to the barge end of the building profile. Natural timber batten soffits front and rear allow the building fabric to ‘breathe’ yet prevent small bird and rodents from becoming permanent inhabitants!

Architectural specifier: ESD Design
Building contractor: David Reid Homes
Client: Darcy & Tanya Ungaro
Engineers: Alan Yap
Geotech and waste water design: Studio Marotta
Photographer: Rebecca Praha-Cutts and Edwin Derricutt
Quantity Surveyor: Hope Consultants
Structural: ACH
Surveyor: Reyburn and Bryant

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