Nestled into the hillside above Kaiwaka Harbour and amongst a sea of green grass, two prisms of burnt black timber sit.  

Designed by Cheshire Architects, ‘Eyrie’ are two cottages designed to be holiday homes for two different clients on New Zealand’s North Island. Designer Nat Cheshire says:

Holiday homes have become this country’s decadence. We wanted a different vision for New Zealand’s coastal future

Sitting closely together, the architect opted to design these two 29-square-metre buildings closer to the water, rather than on the assigned hilltop plot to make them less conspicuous and to “help them feel an intimate part of the landscape rather than something watching over it”.

On the exterior, the two serene retreats appear to be identical, yet the interior reveals something else. With just two large windows and no doors, the structures are designed to be private, yet invite in the daylight and surrounding landscape.

Inside, one of the Eyrie Cottages is lined with glossy black paintwork highlighting the colours of the landscape and features brass detailing. The other, is encased in the warm tones of plywood and features a restrained collection of light timber furniture.

One cottage is a “pool of inky blackness into which to vanish”, the other “a soft warm piece of pine cabinetry to hold you aloft above the ground”.

The two charred cabins reside completely off the grid providing a place for solitude to take in the intense beauty of their natural surroundings.

Credit | Cheshire Architects
Photography | Jeremy Toth