Blackened Timber Cabins

This pair of charred timber cabins by Cheshire Architects stand on the side of hill in New Zealand, inland from the Tasman Sea.  

The twin residences were designed by the Auckland firm for two separate clients and sit on a grassy knoll above Kaiwaka Harbour, a natural estuary that stretches almost 40 miles along New Zealand's north-west coast.

The two 29-square-meter structures sit close by each other, with their pitched roofs sloping towards the water. Large oblong windows set into the burnt timber cladding face towards the coast and hill, while solid side walls avoid direct views of the neighboring property.

"We spent a lot of time walking the site and rejected immediately the designated building site on top of the hill and pulled these little buildings down into the little dips and folds in this hillside that would shelter them from the wind. And would help them to feel an intimate part of this beautiful landscape rather than something watching over it."

Their boxy forms and blackened timber were inspired by the bold and densely pigmented shapes present in the work of abstract painter Kazimir Malevich.

While the structures appear identical from the outside, their placement and interior features vary, providing the clients with tailored residences.One is lined in glossy black paintwork and brass detailing, while the other is encased in plywood and filled with pale timber furniture. 

 Photography is by Jeremy Toth.

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