When friends pooled their money to buy a plot of land on a remote estuary in northern New Zealand, they eventually decided to build dual cabins. A thoughtful approach the vacation home, the buildings mirror each other on the outside, but have distinct personalities inside.
Designed by firm principal Nat Cheshire of Aukland-based Cheshire Architects, the cabins are entirely off-the-grid. Being only 312 square feet, both manage to accommodate a living area, kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping loft.
Charred wood exteriors and very little footprint (no driveway or yard) make for a striking placement, as Cheshire describes: “In that big long grass, it feels more like these were boats tied up at moorings in a slow-motion ocean.”
Each unit has two side openings: one as an entrance and the other a window. There are no traditional doors, instead, a boulder acts as a step to enter one of the cabins, the other with a small fold-down deck.
Both cabins have a functional (albeit compact) kitchen with a sink, refrigerator, gas stove, and even a dishwasher drawer, luxuries you might not expect for such a small space. Keeping the bathroom closet-sized, with the assistance of an outdoor shower, lends real estate to the rest of the space.
Interior design-wise, specific materials were chosen to set the cabins apart: one being light, the other dark. In the light cabin, the interior walls are unfinished plywood, the kitchen nook lined in oiled eucalyptus. Furniture selections include an Ercol sofa and Arne Jacobsen floor lamp. In the dark cabin, the interior is finished in black polished panels, which have a deep sheen at night, the kitchen nook in rich brass.
More at: Cheshire Architects
Photos: Jeremy Toth, Darryl Ward