fearon hay architects introduces a pair of small timber camp dwellings over the rolling hills of northern new zealand’s tawharanui peninsula. the small-scale cabin structures known as the ‘bishops hill encampment’ or ‘the camp,’ are strategically sited to occupy the landscape without disrupting their natural surroundings. the immediate context is characterized by tall wild grasses along a rolling topography. rather than cutting and nesting into the sloping hillside, the dwellings flat above the meadow-like context. the design team introduces a visual and tectonic complexity to the minimal dwellings through their rhythmic materiality and operable apertures.

fearon hay camp
images courtesy of fearon hay architects



with a minimal plan, the camp by fearon hay architects is both outward-looking and intimate. the interiors offer a sense of closeness which can be nearly fully opened up to the sweeping distant landscape. the transformative nature of the project is lended by a system of full height operable exterior walls clad with timber shutters. this sliding shutter system allows for a range of openness while introducing a patterning of shadows and filtered sunlight. the elements are finished entirely with a natural oil, visually integrating the camp within its wooded context. the dwellings are each harmoniously situated along the hillside, perched along a slope which leads down toward the water’s edge.

fearon hay camp



fearon hay architects positions the dwellings of the camp to generate a sheltered, centralized space suited for outdoor living. the design team comments on the process of capturing the spirit of camping: ‘the encampment has been designed to be simple accommodation, capturing the essence of old style informal beaching and camping. divided into two buildings — living and sleeping — each space has been thoughtfully arranged to accommodate the essential, basic living needs.’

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project info


project title: the camp

architecture: fearon hay architects

location: tawharanui peninsula, new zealand