WORDS Cheri Morris IMAGES David Straight
Compact, quirky and set at the foot of a rolling mountain, Toms’s House is an angular obsidian box by Anna-Marie Chin Architects inspired by the humble shed that challenges spatial requirements.
Set in the post-card surroundings of Queenstown, New Zealand, the brief sought something small and characterful with lots of light and frames through which to savour pause-worthy views. The result is an optimisation of the 156 sqm plot that realises a home filled with hidden storage and niche spaces that can be converted into sleeping or sitting areas.
Outside, the built form is inspired by the rural shed with coloursteel skin wrapping covering the walls and roof. A modern abstracted interpretation sees a gable run across the diagonal to create dynamic elevations that appear in dialogue with the towering mountains. The asymmetrical ridgeline slopes down, tracing the contour of the land and creating variation in internal spatial volumes.
A simple material palette continues the shed aesthetic with the same dark colours featured on walls, windows and the roof. Honey-coloured ply creates a warm and homely interior and recesses make way for sky-enveloped porches that welcome exteriors in. The placement of the home, in relation to the internal boundaries, makes porches and courtyard spaces secluded from view and provides relief from tight boundary setbacks.
Love this space? Check out Troll Hus, a modern cabin-like retreat in the Californian ski resort town of Sugar Bowl, designed by Mork-Ulnes Architects.