The Chodge

The Chodge is a family vacation home located at Waipamu Station in South Waikato, New Zealand. The station is on the banks of Lake Whakamaru with 360 views over the unique landscape. The design is an exploration of the interstitial space between inside and outside, how you live when on holiday, the relationship with landscape and connection to a rural vernacular. Essentially a house within a house. Living in the threshold drove the idea of creating a space outside the inside, but still inside the outside. The Woolshed vernacular informed the exterior form. A simple functional roof pitch, unadorned, undecorated, and true to the existing woolshed standing on the property. We were careful to emulate the woolshed utilitarian form and resist the urge to over detail and domesticize.

A translucent skin on the interior of the outer structure contributes to the control of heat gain and heat loss. Large operable openings, fire station doors, aircraft hangar doors when open render the outside structure a large-scale veranda. While the primary aim of the outer shell was to create a light emitting interior during the day, there is a reverse effect at night with the form taking on a glow from interior lighting.

Inside this outer shell is an extruded wooden container for living functions, designed to Passive Haus principles, super insulated, airtight with heat recovery heating system. This internal space is cave like, in stark contrast to the outside structure environment. By creating this interstitial space, the occupants could live across all the seasons and weather patterns. Additional sleeping spaces on the mezzanine resonate with past camping on the site, in tune with the circadian rhythm of natural daylight hours.


Project Details

Status: Completed 2024

Client: Whakamaru Retreat Ltd

Size: 300 sq.m

Cost: $2M