Okere Barn House

Okere Barn House

The clients wanted an unassuming home that didn’t look as if it had anything to prove. Faced with a modest building platform, they saw potential in the large internal volumes possible in barn-style buildings. The resulting simple gabled form stands proudly on its elevated site, looking across the Kaituna River to rugged hills to the North East and established native bush to the North West.

This home was built by the couple themselves, as owner builders. They wanted their family home to feel open, spacious, connected to the surroundings, and be energy efficient and low cost.

Black ply board and batten cladding was chosen for its simplicity, and is contrasted on both gable ends and the entrance box with horizontal Cedar. Generous decking seamlessly extends the living area.

The modest floor plan was pared back to what the young family really needed: three bedrooms, a family bathroom, study nook, laundry, ample storage, and a multi-use mezzanine space. The home’s sunny kitchen, dining and living area occupies a single lofty volume.

Inside, the light filled 140m2 home feels larger, thanks to the striking high pitched timber-sarked ceilings throughout.

The couple allowed themselves a few simple luxuries: a window seat generous enough in width for two people, overheight double glazed joinery, level-step stacker sliders opening onto the deck from most spaces, and a fully tiled bathroom with rainhead shower, bathtub and ample natural light.

Native NZ timber features throughout the home – the kitchen island top, stair treads and custom bathroom cabinet are all crafted from Matai, gifted by the client’s parents from their family property.

The home sits atop a thermally broken well insulated concrete slab. 140mm timber framing throughout the home allows for maximised insulation, both internally and externally. This means the building is quiet and stays warm all year round – the client’s only complaint being they barely need to light their wood fire!


  • Client :  Rachael Tombleson and Bradley Lauder
  • Location : Okere Falls