Te Hihi embraces the interminable rural setting amidst the gentle rolling landscape distinctive of Karaka, 45 kilometers south of Auckland City. The building is sited where two valleys converge to form a narrowing spur of land from which immediate and distant vistas can be experienced in all directions.

The main axis of the house follows the incline of the land, expressed with a central hallway that finds relief in large viewing windows to the east. Spaces are organised along this circulation path, shifting and tapering to each gain an eastern aspect and northern sun. This axis is intersected by the entry concourse and continuous pergola, which slices across the ridge and connects to the northern lawn and pool area.

The traditional weatherboard has been re-worked in a large format to respond to the elongated building form, rendered black to recess into the landscape and contrast the glowing warmth of timber.

The roof is an all-encompassing wedge form, responding to the tapering landform. Deliberately blank to the southern approach, the windows are sculpted-out recesses, forcing outlook in a downward direction to the extensively landscaped wetlands below.

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Strachan Group Architects is a multiple award-winning Auckland practice. Grounded in a specific and detailed first-hand knowledge of construction the team brings a highly developed sense of craft to the task of creating sustainable buildings with precision and elegance.

The keen sense of attention that the practice brings to the interpretation of a client’s brief is equalled by a rich and complex understanding of how to respond to the subtleties of site, the impacts of the natural environment, and the many contexts within which a building must operate. To these qualities SGA adds a precise understanding of the requirements of construction, with an advanced level of experience of prefabrication and the use of digitally controlled machinery in the fabrication of building elements under tightly controlled conditions.

SGA takes pride in it's ability to communicate ideas about building as they develop in conversation with clients, consultants and contractors. This skill has been honed in the extensive involvement the practice has had in education, where it has delivered a number of design/build projects with architecture students that have been recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects by a series of Awards.

Recognised by their peers as an innovative and exciting practice, SGA consists of a group of highly skilled people with a diverse range of complimentary skills. This flexible team is highly attuned to new developments in the building industry, appreciated by their many clients and capable of undertaking work at any scale.