The Big Cottage

The owners’ brief for The Big Cottage was clear early on - to create a timeless yet forward thinking design, close to nature, with a spacious and light interior. The result is a modern reinterpretation of an iconic Christchurch 1909 California bungalow style which incorporates Japanese design philosophy. The dark yet rich weatherboard cladding anchored by river stone walls ground the home, tying into landscaping that also reflects the design influences of Japanese architecture (Japanese maples) and California bungalows (a Californian redwood tree).

Japanese influence continues in the home’s interiors, featuring rooms that can be personalised for future demands flowing from one to the other, eliminating passageways and maximising usable space. Hidden Shoji sliding doors allow spaces to be opened up or closed off depending on their desired usage. These are further enhanced with “ranmas,” from Japan, a transom above doors serving as a traditional welcome to visitors. Expansive glazing invites the changing colours of the season inside from the garden, further enhanced by the light toned, double-height rooms that reflect light deep inside.

This home received the Highly Commended Award for a new home over 300m² in the 2022 ADNZ Resene Awards, the Runner Up Award for the 2022 TIDA New Zealand Home Awards for a designer home and the Regional Gold Award in the 2022 Master Builders House of the Year.

Builder: Dan Saunders Construction
Engineer: Davis Ogilvie

Super-insulated thermal bridge free construction
Warm roof, Gerard shingles over PIR insulation
CLT Cross Laminated Timber roof panels
Highly insulated walls with Pro Clima airtightness layer 
Hydronic underfloor heating and MHRV system
Windows: triple glazed uPVC
Renewable energy: Solar PV and batteries
Rainwater and greywater recycling

Bob Burnett Architecture 2024