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Reimagining the barn typology

Reimagining the barn typology

Two Barns takes inspiration from its rural farming context in the Otago region of New Zealand, with two distinct simple barn-like structures by Space Studio.

Set among the rolling hills and lush greenery in the heart of the Cardona Valley is a residence that exudes luxury and relaxation.

The owners had a clear vision in mind – they wanted a simple, barn-inspired design that paid homage to the valley’s rich farming and gold mining history. They also wanted to incorporate the existing building consent and nominated building platform, while ensuring that the lodge was private, sustainable, and able to withstand the valley’s extreme climatic conditions.

As keen skiers, the family also had specific needs when it came to accommodating and storing their gear, as well as a desire for an easy indoor-outdoor flow that would allow them to entertain and gather around the heart of the home – the kitchen.

The aesthetic of the lodge was to be relaxed and textural, with a barn-inspired feel rather than something too minimalist. It was also important that the house could be managed remotely while still being easy to operate for guests who were not familiar with the property.

The final design was a true collaboration, with the architects working closely with the clients to incorporate key pieces from their art collection and create lighting that was both carefully considered and integrated into all design elements.

The lodge is made up of two barns connected by a “lean-to” structure, which follows the form of the original building platform. Barn-inspired details shine through in many of the elements, including the board and batten cladding, oiled cedar barn doors and shutters, and a large pivot door at the entry.

In addition, the sliding garage/barn door, shutters, hardware, tapware, and decorative lighting selections all support the rustic barn aesthetic while providing the necessary everyday functionality. In terms of materiality, local Clutha stone and schist, as well as oak floors, give the space warmth and texture.

Additionally, there has been a consideration for the way light falls across the textured walls while the expressed beam structures conceal track lighting with the bottom chord allowing specific areas of the spaces to be carefully highlighted, such as the Lisa Reihana artwork within its allocated space.

Prefabrication was harnessed with the integration of a laminated ply beam structure and framing, which were all prepared off-site. This approach ensured that there was less waste throughout the process while accelerating construction on-site.

The living spaces are housed in a double-volume barn that allows for large family gatherings around an amply-sized central kitchen. The large cathedral window captures the view of the hills and is symmetrically arranged with the external fireplace on the terrace.

Every detail of the lodge has been thoughtfully considered, from the curated views of the surrounding hills to the carefully integrated lighting that illuminates the sculptures. It’s a place where the beauty of the valley is brought indoors, where luxury and relaxation go hand in hand, and where memories are made to last a lifetime.

Project details

Architecture and interiors – Space Studio
Photography – Simon Devitt and Michelle Weir

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Aleesha Callahan is the editor of Habitus. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Aleesha seeks out the unique people, projects and products that define the Indo Pacific region. Aleesha was previously the editor of Indesignlive.com and has written and contributed to various publications and brands in her 10 years in the architecture and design industry, bringing intimate insight to her stories having first trained and practised as an interior designer. Her passion for mid-century design and architecture began while living and working in Berlin.