The Chemis Cabin

Nestled unobtrusively on the client’s lifestyle property in Hamurana, Rotorua, ‘The Chemis Cabin’ combines thoughtful consideration for its environment alongside Passiv Haus design principles. Visitor’s initial arrival to a deck with an outdoor bath accurately represents the simplicity and privacy afforded by its location in the lush garden and provides a suitable tone for the spirit of the property. The outlook presents the setting of a secluded ‘cabin in the forest’, where visitors feel like they are distanced from civilisation. By creating three cells: bedroom; bathroom; and living space, accessed by venturing outside, there is an inevitable feeling of connection with outdoors as you move between rooms. The interiors have been designed to be simple, protected enclosures where the colour and interest is focused on the external surroundings. The design response is ultimately about connecting people with nature and the environment.

Passiv Haus design principles – creating a warm, dry cabin that requires minimal energy to comfortably inhabit, fit well with the client’s objective for the secondary dwelling on their property to achieve sustainability at a high standard, be fit for purpose, and offer a distinctive design to make the building aesthetically intriguing within its setting.

With the cabin on offer to the public as a holiday rental, the reviews from visitors are glowing, and more importantly, the owners (the Chemis family) are thrilled – with their feedback showcasing their appreciation of the design.

NZIA 2020 Architectural Awards: Small Project – Regional Award