A Series of Pavilions Reflect the Owner's Love of Angles and Relaxing Nooks

When Gerald and Lorraine McCormack briefed their architect, it was to have the scale of their expansive 300m2 home broken up with several mono-pitched pavilions – each one providing outdoor entertainment spaces.

This was to be their forever home, so retired farmers Gerald and Lorraine spent months scrap booking ideas and sketches for what might work best, with help from son-in-law Lew Sarten, a senior technician with New Plymouth-based Ardern Peters Architects Ltd (APA).

What also contributed to the mix was the return from an OE in London of son Shane, a qualified builder keen to be in on the project from the get-go. It was really going to be a family affair. Shane and another builder brought the home to the framing stage, but completing the rest of the home was completed by Shane and Dad, Gerald.

Eventually all the ideas were exchanged with architect, Jeff Salisbury of APA whose idea it was to create an assembly of rural inspired shed-like shelters within the main plan to give different aspects for sun and weather protection and to allow for landscaped courtyards in each pavilion.
The McCormack’s home is on a ten-acre lifestyle block at Lepperton, north of New Plymouth and has a simple palette of naturally sourced cedar and a profiled metal exterior. Interior finishes include concrete, oak and white wall and ceiling surfaces. 

Says Gerald McCormack: “We had no preconceived idea of what we wanted except the need for plenty of angles. Lorraine loves to cook and entertain so the kitchen needed to be a feature and we didn’t want the home to look out of place in our rural setting.

“We were inspired by what we saw on a visit to Queenstown and came back with some ideas but the architect’s modular concept gave us lots of choices for outdoor living so depending on the weather we have desirable places to sit”.

The home is designed with three bedrooms, deliberately located so guests can be accommodated at one end of the home and the master and ensuite at the other. Jeff’s emphasis on the kitchen has included a larger than normal scullery (Lorraine just loves this) and there is easy flow to the dining and living areas, with the series of pavilions providing seamless extensions of the living areas with linkways to different viewpoints of the rural setting and sheltered courtyards for quiet contemplation. 

The living space is flexible so as to reduce the building footprint and achieve more function from less. The external materials are a combination of shiplap cedar and mono pitch Dimondek 400 trapezoidal roofing, manipulated to accentuate the views and to capture energy within the exposed concrete floor. 

A unique feature of the roof was the owner’s requirement for Canterbury prickles along wall to roof junctions to emphasise the beauty of the cladding profile. From the outset Farnsworth Roofing worked with Jeff Salisbury on ways to ensure these junctions would be watertight and the skill of the roofer is seen in the execution of the Canterbury prickle detail and around openings and junctions. The Dimondek 400 sheets (203mm wide pan and 46mm rib height) run up to the apex of the roof sections and are then cut and folded down to become the wall cladding. The solution was to measure each one individually and to install folded and welded aluminium caps, powder-coated to match the Lancewood shaded sheets of the Dimondek 400. Farnsworth foreman, Matthew Bailey oversaw the whole job and many thousands of “prickles” were in the mix and homeowner Lorraine McCormack loves to have this effect which she’d viewed on another property and wanted to include.  

As 30- year-old builder, Shane McCormack recalled: “Dad and I worked together on what was not always a straight-forward build and it took a longer time but we have a great sense of achievement.  I love the contrast between the cedar and black metal cladding, and also the oak screens against the polished concrete floors. I think my favourite feature is the fully rebated full height window in the master ensuite which is a direct view to the rural landscape and makes one feel you are already outside”.

Says Darin Vooght, director of Farnsworth Roofing 2018 Ltd (he took over the business in April last year), the efforts to ensure perfection with the Canterbury prickles was a lengthy process but time had to be taken to achieve what the owners wanted. The roof on the home is divided into three simple sections with a fourth, on the main living area of the home, having two planes intersecting with one large valley. All three pavilions have intricate angles – fulfilling the owner’s brief. 

Architect Jeff Salisbury’s idea for a series of pavilions to match the homeowners’ passion for the outdoors and entertaining means this home views well from many different vantage points. The aspects most liked by Jeff for this build include. -

  • The contrast created between vertical cedar and the strong colour of the profiled metal cladding
  • A rural vernacular with folded roof planes to each pavilion, (of a scale appropriate to the context): - not dissimilar to local hay sheds 
  • Sharp lines of the exterior are matched inside with flush skirtings, negative detailing and square finished junctions
  • Separating functions with pavilions provides opportunities between for outdoor living and entertaining environments, something the client sought as they created a new home base for their adult family
  • The folded roof panels are reflected in the ceiling of the main living pavilion
  • The expansive windows in the bathroom and ensuite shower connect occupants with the outside world 

Ardern Peters Architects
Ardern Peters Architects Ltd is an award winning, medium sized, architect-based practice in New Plymouth. Their primary objective is to create buildings of simplicity, style and merit that fully meet the requirements of their clients by implementing sound and effective design methodology.

With 20 years of experience, Ardern Peters Architects is an NZIA practice which has grown to become one of the largest in Taranaki – reflecting the high level of service provided and customer satisfaction.  Four hands-on directors, supported by a talented staff of architects, interior designers and technicians, undertake work across New Zealand in the commercial, education, child-care, aged-care and residential sectors.

The practice works in a highly collaborative manner, drawing on the expertise and experience of the entire team.  It is only fitting that this approach to design extends beyond the practice to all project participants.  They strive to complete quality projects and find themselves critiquing and questioning design decisions to ensure their vision, and more importantly, their client’s vision is captured and delivered. Ardern Peters Architect’s focus is to produce smart, high quality, cost effective architecture. 

NZIA Western Architecture Awards.
Ardern Peters Architects won a NZIA Western Branch award in the housing category. The judges selected the McCormack House, in Lepperton, which “references a ‘rural vernacular’ through simple forms and material selections”.

Jeff Salisbury, Ardern Peters Architects Ltd
New Plymouth
Telephone: 06 759 2190
Builder: Shane McCormack Building
Telephone: 027 6308205
Roofing Manufacturer: Dimond Roofing
Telephone: 0800 DIMOND
Profile: Dimondek 400
Colour: Lancewood
Roofing & Cladding Installer:
Farnsworth Roofing Ltd
Telephone: 06 758 1445