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Kowhai Cabin

From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery — Ohakune

This uncomplicated wooden cabin with its raw form and finishes, sits effortlessly in its natural surroundings. It protects the occupants from the elements and hides a surprisingly warm interior.

The holiday cabin is built as a hideout for summer and winter while enjoying the outdoors. Siberian larch cladding in Wood-X clear is combined with charred larch in feature areas in Wood-X Foundry, cutting into the main volume. Bi-fold screens corner off the entry area when the house is unoccupied, but can be transformed into a lockable storage area or a carport.

Wooden lounge
Exterior entry
Lounge deck

After entering the cabin the framed views direct the attention to the outdoors, the mountain on one side, sky, trees and open fields on other sides. The shape invites light into the house; this warms the concrete floor and walls that act as a heat conductor. Roof overhangs and sliding doors protect from the harsh winds and temperature shifts, common in these Alpine areas. During warmer times of the year the cabin opens up and interacts with the outdoors.

The simple rectangular floor plan divides the cabin into private and social areas, with the concrete walls as a spine through the centre. These walls help to keep the house at a constant temperature throughout the year. In the centre of the cabin are the kitchen, pantry and dry room, everything else folds around this centre.

Hallway to bunks

The cabin seems to be a non-stop dialogue between interior and exterior it wants to be open and (en)closed, warm and cool at the same time.

The striking yellow – Resene Galliano - and black entrance draws you in and reveals a glimpse of the warm interior. The interior is a mix of different textures and colours designed to make you feel protected and warm in winter and cool and sheltered in summer: dark and light blue with pops of yellow, rough concrete walls with smooth velvet fabric, warm timber with cool concrete floors.

The main goal was to design a warm cabin to come home to in winter and a cool retreat in summer that connects to the elements all year round. The cabin should feel as a warm blanket in winter and a cool cave in summer: People already know blue colours can make the interior feel cold, but the concept was to show people how dark (blue) colours, such as the Resene Elephant used, can really envelope you and make the interior feel warm and cosy if used well.

Because several different materials are used in the house, it was decided not to introduce an extra colour to the interior, so no white was used. Instead light grey – Resene Triple Sea Fog - was used for all the plasterboard walls and ceilings, kitchen cabinets, interior doors and architraves.

Lounge walls - wood
Lounge walls - concrete
Lounge walls wood and concrete
Sliding wall door

Architectural specifier: MnM Design
Painting contractor: N Verhaaren
Photographer: Glenn Hubbard
Engineers: KirkRoberts Consulting Engineers Ltd

Resene Total Colour Awards gallery

The Resene Total Colour Awards celebrate and encourage creative use of colour. For colour and decorating inspiration, browse through the hundreds of projects submitted...

View Award winners:  2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 |

View gallery:  2020 | 2019/18 | 2017 | 2016/15 | 2014/13 | 2012/11/10 |   Win:  Entry information

Resene Total Colour Awards 2018


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.