Ruakaka, Northland, New Zealand


Ruakaka House in Northland is situated overlooking Bream Bay and Whangarei Heads, and is designed as a vernacular inspired home incorporating traditional New Zealand materials, and a site specific environmental design approach.

The 124m² house utilises sunlight for passive heating, natural airflow for passive cooling, high levels of insulation for energy efficiency, board and batten timber cladding, and a natural waste composting system (for sewage).

Maintaining the existing landscape was always a high priority. This was achieved by positioning the house to stretch out along the natural topography, minimising earthworks, maintaining cost control, and reducing visual dominance.

A long and narrow shaped design running North to South, the mono pitch clerestory roof has four large clerestory windows designed to optimise the house for afternoon winter sunlight, while passively warming the interior and dark tiled floor.

During summer the clerestory windows naturally ventilate and cool the house.  The central corridor, has large open vents above doors for optimised passive airflow and cooling, which become an interesting environmental feature of the house.

+ Location: Ruakaka, Northland, New Zealand
+ Programme: Family House
+ ClientPrivate Owner 
+ Site area: 2.7265Ha
+ Built area: 124sqm
Status: Built
+ Credit: Duncan Firth, Myles Henaghan, Saran Chamroonkul