barry connor design's 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds

barry connor design's 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds

skylark cabin nods to the flying patterns of a bird species

 

resting atop a plinth of reclaimed stone boulders, the skylark cabin by barry connor design is a curated retreat for reflection and relaxation. the project is located in new zealand’s south island, at the foothills of the ben ohau range where tussock grasslands flourish. amid this radical landscape, with the open sky painted over it, the compact cabin is inspired by a surprising muse: the eurasian bird species known as ‘skylark’.

 

indeed, the most prominent feature of the 50sqm retreat has to be its folded, angular planes – a feature that ‘nods to the skylark’s distinctive aerial display—with their angular, precise, and purposeful acrobatics,’ connor explains. those angular displays were carefully reinterpreted in line with the clients’ brief: creating a place to relax, to watch the starry night sky and dances of the skylarks, and to enjoy the play of light and shadow over the ben ohau range. 

barry connor design's 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
all images © dennis radermacher

 

 

offset volumes capturing stunning perspectives of the site 

 

under the pitched roof of the cabin sit two distinct offset volumes. the first one accommodates the kitchen and living spaces, while the second one holds a bedroom and a bathroom where morning sun filters through almost all year long. ‘the angle of the offset was derived from plotting specific views from certain activities ; lying in bed, washing the dishes, having a shower, sitting, standing,’ shares architect barry connor. both volumes are connected by an entry porch that leads to the carport. 

 

furthermore, each space frames particular views of the surroundings. the living area has floor-to-ceiling windows that capture a distanced vista of the ben ohau range, while a circular skylight punctuates the ceiling of the bedroom and through which the owners can catch a glimpse of the aoraki mackenzie international dark sky reserve. 

barry connor design's 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
the skylark cabin sits amid the tussock grasslands, in the south island of new zealand

 

 

simple materials that vividly punctuate the cabin structure

 

accommodating to the harsh climate of the site, connor cloaked the exterior of the cabin in band-sawn larch timber rainscreen – a material that, over time, can easily be taken down and replaced if found necessary. moreover, to counterbalance the dark-colored rainscreen, burnt-orange accents were used to outline the structural frames of the carport and windows. specifically requested by the clients, the burnt-orange hue lifts up the overall aesthetic of the cabin and echoes the bright lichen found in the area. 

 

moving on to the interiors, the use of light-colored beech plywood across the offset volumes steadily contrasts the bolder and warmer tones of the exterior shell. those softer accents blend into the tussock grasslands, giving the impression of ‘being nestled right in the landscape.’ as a final touch, black-edge ply rib was used to delineate the borders of the beech panels to give a feeling of privacy and ‘cradling’. 

skylark cabin
burnt-orange accents delineate the structural frames of the cabin, giving a pop of color to the overall aesthetic

skylark-barry-connor-designboom-full-1

barry connor design's 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
the bedroom includes a large skylight through which owners can enjoy a view of the local sky reserve

barry connor design's 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
the interiors are punctuated by light beech plywood that contrasts the darker exterior shell

skylark-barry-connor-designboom-full-2

barry connor design's 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
the cabin sits atop natural stone boulders mixed with tussock grass

 

 

 

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barry connor design’s 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
 
barry connor design’s 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
 
barry connor design’s 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
 
barry connor design’s 50sqm cabin retreat in new zealand echoes the aerial dance of birds
 

project info:

 

name: skylark cabin

architecture: barry connor design 

location: twizel, new zealand 

project area: ± 50sqm

photography: dennis radermacher

 

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