House-shaped blocks and courtyards form this cedar-clad residence in Christchurch, New Zealand, designed by architect Case Ornsby to replace another residence that was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake.
The property has four volumes of different sizes and proportions, each serving different functions. In between there are a number of outdoor areas that can be used at different times of the day. The architect wanted the property to be an urban version of a typical English farmhouse with a pitched roof and gave each band a gable profile. These are arranged in a curved U-shape and connected by a glazed corridor.
Untreated cedar, which turns silver in all weathers, covers the exterior of all four blocks. Most planks are placed vertically, but some are placed horizontally to signal doors. The cedar boards continue inside and cover the walls of the connecting corridor that extends from the main entrance to the other end of the house, making the four volumes appear separate.
Large windows and glazed sliding doors provide plenty of light in the interior and offer numerous paths into the inner courtyards. Inside, each band has a double-high, angled ceiling that keeps the rooms bright and open.
The living, kitchen and dining room is in the longest wing to the north of the property, while the garage is in the opposite block. The southernmost block contains the master bedroom with bathroom and a TV room – both of the same size. The fourth structure houses two double bedrooms and the family bathroom. A large pair of sliding doors opens the corridor to the living, kitchen and dining room, from which both a covered day terrace at the front of the house and a breakfast area are accessible.
Across the corridor is an outdoor dining area with a gray wooden floor for the evening. The master bedroom and TV room are at the end of the hall. From the bedroom you have access to a more private terrace with stepping stones that lead to a garden area covered with earth. Oak and gray concrete floors complement the cedar, while walls painted white keep the interiors bright.