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Wairarapa House

Wairarapa House

A rural retreat

Set upon the cliffs of the Ruamahanga River,  Wairarapa House appears nestled within the undulating farmland.

Upon arrival, the full length of the house presents a fortress-like facade with high precast concrete and river stone walls punctuated by narrow windows. The interior opens up to reveal elevated views overlooking the River and Tararua Ranges beyond. 



A strong East to West axis orders the house, expressed with a simple spine from which a series of skillion roofs flutter above the ridge line. Wide steps down to a breezeway continue the spine through a separate shearers quarters and equipment shed block. Living and bedroom spaces open off the gallery to the North with bathrooms, laundry and garage to the South. An in situ concrete wall featuring an embossed ‘piano key’ pattern defines the gallery axis. Materials are honest and robust in response to the site’s rural context. River stones, dark stained cedar and walnut provide natural textures and a warm earthy pallet. 


NZIA 2018 Award Citation


Wairarapa TimesStuff

Key Outtakes
Rural Residence
Full Architecture & Interior Design
453 m2