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Total Colour Award winners

throwing shade

Waihi Beach

The client approached Tohu Workshop of Architecture with a simple brief; to develop a simple, low cost – tiny house at Waihi Beach.

In a nutshell, that’s exactly what was achieved. The final project consists of two separate 6 metre x 3 metre gabled structures – one with kitchen and the other for sleeping quarters. It is the connections, nuance and attention to detail that define this venture as something just a little bit more than just two tiny houses.

Exterior courtyard joining the wings of tiny house

In New Zealand quality housing is being constantly pushed further and further away from the hands of everyday kiwis. Small yet well-designed iterations of contemporary living habitats have the potential to shift the way New Zealanders understand architecture and their access to it.

As the design was pushed forward, Tohu Workshop of Architecture began exploring the use of blended spaces, mixing the boundaries of inside/outside, up and down, and how two separate buildings may converse with each other.

With the scale and size being the main ‘challenge’ spaces were pulled outside, confusing the senses and also utilising the ‘in between’ to increase the sense of volume. With these elements, the idea of the conversation between the structures began to establish itself as the primary concept driver that would shape the design process moving forward and lead to the exploration into the colour scheme.

Exterior space joining tiny house areas

Lounge and sleeping lofts

Ranch slider and roof

Ranch slider from sleeping area

Exterior profile

Exterior panels

Knowing the site intimately, the key was the way the structures would talk, the way they would throw shards of light and shade onto each other. Working from that, Resene Ayers Rock was chosen to represent just that – the morning light beams falling across the surfaces. Conversely Resene All Black was used to represent those blocks of shadow meandering across the plywood surface. Both were painted in Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss waterborne paint.

Interestingly, due to structural requirements, the Resene Ayers Rock was used as a structural component too. Not being able to use the all-black colour as a structural brace, the Resene Ayers Rock finished panels also denote a structural brace, giving the colour selections an architectural integrity of sorts.

Inside the palette is neutral using Resene Double Alabaster, painted using Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen and Resene SpaceCote Flat for a subtle sheen variation.

Deck and table

Colour panel details

Architectural specifier: Tohu Workshop of Architecture
Building contractor: Mustard Building
Photographer: Sharni Dysart Photography
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2019


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