Situated within the grounds of an existing house, the remit for this two-bedroom cottage was that it should provide guest accommodation for the homeowners’ family and friends when staying for extended periods of time.

The brief given to Team Green Architects was for a simple building that would evoke a sense of sanctuary and of being on holiday from the moment you walked in the door. Nestled within a grove of silver birches, the setting was crucial to that brief, says Architect Mark Read.

“The trees provide physical and visual separation from the main house, as well as establishing the sense of tranquility the clients desired.

“Local planning laws dictated that the structure should be ‘invisible’ to neighbouring properties and so, to help the house blend into the landscape, part of the structure has been embedded into the land itself.

“The setting and the council stipulations helped solidify the choice of materials—cedar cladding and local stone. Vertical cladding and slatted screens sit comfortably within the grove-like setting, while the horizontal stone base and cantilevered roof comfortably nestle into the parameters of the site.”

Clever structures incorporating floating cantilevers and cross bracing set up a simple play of well-proportioned forms that have been carefully inserted into the landscape and that break away from the formality and large scale of the primary residence.

“At its heart, the guest house is a relaxed retreat for guests and has a character akin to that of a five-star DOC hut, with its pared-back simplicity and feeling ‘of getting away from it all’, says Mark.

“Internally, the clients wanted a scheme that was relaxed and laid back. One that didn’t feel like a show home that guests would be afraid to use. The colour palette is intentionally pure and uncomplicated, accented with natural timbers, along with bright and lively elements of colour.

“Externally, thanks to the use of natural materials, the structure will continue to age and to blend into the environment; inside, it will remain calm and unfussy, the perfect vantage point from which to observe the beautiful natural environment surrounding it.”

Programmatically, the property contains an open-plan living area, laundry, a master bedroom with ensuite and a bunk room that can accommodate up to six people.

Words by Justin Foote
Photography by Sam Hartnett

About the

Team Green Architects was established in 2013 by Sian Taylor and Mark Read, with the purpose of offering New Zealander's a better solution when it comes to designing buildings. Based in Queenstown, we’re lucky enough to be able to design buildings in some of the most beautiful locations you can imagine.  

In five years our dedicated team has grown, and is committed to creating, energy efficient and beautiful buildings. 

Team is an important part of what makes Team Green Architects. When you choose to engage Team Green Architects, you become part of the team. Your thoughts and ideas are a vital part of the process. In addition to the inhouse team, Team Green Architects has an external team of consultants, contractors and suppliers whose knowledge and experience is valued throughout the process. The sum of all these team members is helping us to reach our vision "to set a new standard and fundamentally change the way buildings are designed and constructed in New Zealand."

We want to change expectations of how people live in New Zealand. We also want to change expectations of how we as a country design and construct buildings. With Team Green we make sure every project makes a difference to the quality of life for our clients and to the world around us.  Our promise from day one is to work closely with you to ensure your brief and your dreams are fully understood. We make sure we get to know what is really important to you. We will join you on your journey, and together enjoy creating something exceptional.