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Designed for a Gib-averse couple nearing retirement, Pitoitoi is a new house nestled just below the bush clad hills of Days Bay, Wellington. The clients wanted to maintain a sense of the suburb they had lived in for some time, whilst wishing to down size from their existing family home. Tucked away in a suburban context, the house offers a retreat for them both, echoing the calmness of the forest beyond. 

Conceived as two linked box forms with a ‘tophat’ sitting over, light floods through the house during the day, passively heating the concrete floor and western living spaces, while the central courtyard offers sheltered north facing outdoor living.  Partly motivated by the woodworking interests of the client, the house is finished throughout with crafted timber elements, while the dark stained cladding takes its’ cue from the nearby beech trees. The exposed timber trusses allow for a cost-effective but elegant roof system creating a tight rhythm down the central spine of the hallway before spatially releasing out into the living area and framing the verandah to the Pōhutukawa trees and views beyond


@2016 Lovell and O'Connell Architects Ltd