ISSUE 45  |  Materials

A Tale of Two Buildings: Island Retreat and Storm Cottage by Fearon Hay

November 09, 2012 11:30 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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This is a tale of two buildings on two islands in New Zealand. One is made of concrete; the other of wood: Both are designed by the same architect, Auckland-based Fearon Hay.

New Zealand architecture firm Fearon Hay is known for making the “most of the country's spectacular surroundings.” Their design responses to two very different islands play out in an open glass and concrete structure on Waiheke Island, New Zealand’s third most populated island. On the Great Barrier Island, one of the country’s more remote islands with only 852 people, a timber box is designed to shelter and protect. Enjoyment of the surrounding scenery and views, while imperative in both, have come about through very different means.

Photography by Patrick Reynolds, unless otherwise noted.

Above: Fearon Hay's concrete and glass design Island Retreat has a see-through view of Matiatia Bay on Waiheke Island, New Zealand's third most populated island.

Above: The remote Great Barrier Island protects the Hauraki Gulf from the ocean surface waves and the currents of the South Pacific Gyre. Fearon Hay's aptly named Storm Cottage is a 1,000-square-foot timber box that can be sealed off completely from inclement weather. N.B. See more Storm Cottage in Shelter from the Storm: A Weather-Proof Cottage in New Zealand.

Above: Island Retreat consists of three structures whose undulating and floating roofs were inspired by the surrounding natural setting.

Above: Glass wraps around Island Retreat's two fireplace breasts while the horizontal roof structure appears to be floating.

Above: Island Retreat's exterior fireplace is protected from the wind by glass panels.

Above: Neutral tones of gray match the concrete walls on the interiors of Island Retreat. Photo via Penny Hay.

Above: Interior designer Penny Hay takes her cue from the exteriors. L. Island Retreat looks outward with stark materials while R. Storm Cottage retreats inward with warm wood; photo via Penny Hay.

Above: The internal walls and floors of Storm Cottage are clad with oiled oak boards, providing a warm counterpoint to the dark exterior.

Above: At Storm Cottage, the artwork on the table reflects the influence of the South Pacific islands right beyond the Great Barrier Island.

Above: The view out of Storm Cottage is through a series of framed, narrow glass panes as opposed to the wide expansive glass panes of Island Retreat.

Above: Storm Cottage is a cozy retreat at night.

Above: The glazing in Storm Cottage can be sealed off and protected with perforated, metal screens.

N.B. Indulge your fantasies about owning a house on an island. See 325 images of Island Architecture in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.