A Black House With A Tower-Like Design In The Canopies of New Zealand

The black exterior of this unusual building is an attempt to establish visual harmony between architecture and nature and to establish a continuous and simple overall aesthetic for this whole project. The building is a one-bedroom home for a couple, designed and built by studio Glamuzina Paterson Architects. It occupies a steep site in New Zealand, accessible from the top and through a winding path among the trees. The pathway leads down to a porch which marks the entrance into this tall structure. The house has a tower-like design, featuring a ground floor with a small footprint of only 47 square meters and additional upper floors that get even smaller, measuring 34 square meters across. The decision to emphasize the verticality of the build was dictated and inspired by the surrounding topography. The owners wanted a house among the tree canopies and wished to preserve the surrounding landscape as best as possible. 

The entrance patio leads into the dining area which is on an elevated plan in relation to the living roomView in gallery
The entrance patio leads into the dining area which is on an elevated plan in relation to the living room
The double-height living room feels very cozy and has a welcoming lookView in gallery
The double-height living room feels very cozy and has a welcoming look

The house was built on a modest budget and maintains a simple aesthetic inside and out, based on functionality but also fully capable of emphasizing the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the views. The two outdoor decks follow the contours of the land and establish a close connection between the interior spaces and the outdoors. The North-facing facade is fully exposed to the beautiful tree canopies and has large glazed surfaces which frame these lovely views. The interior of the house is organized of four split levels, creating clear distinctions between the various different areas and their specific functions.

The house has two outdoor decks surrounded by dense vegetation and with access to the immediate surroundingsView in gallery
The house has two outdoor decks surrounded by dense vegetation and with access to the immediate surroundings
The tall and narrow structure allows the house to rise among the tall tree canopies and to make the most of its locationView in gallery
The tall and narrow structure allows the house to rise among the tall tree canopies and to make the most of its location
Various different types of wood were used for the decks, the indoor flooring and other design elementsView in gallery
Various different types of wood were used for the decks, the indoor flooring and other design elements
Large openings and panorama windows expose the interior spaces to their beautiful natural surroundingsView in gallery
Large openings and panorama windows expose the interior spaces to their beautiful natural surroundings
The wooden floor and ceiling add symmetry to the interior design and complement the plain white wallsView in gallery
The wooden floor and ceiling add symmetry to the interior design and complement the plain white walls

The kitchen and dining room for example are slightly elevated, creating the impression of a sunken living room. At the same time, the living room is a double-height space which feels very bright, airy and spacious despite its reduced dimensions. The use of reclaimed wood for the flooring and the warm and earthy selection of finishes and colors creates a very pleasant and comfortable atmosphere throughout the entirety of this black house.

The site on which the house stands is very steep, hence the small footprint and tower-like designView in gallery
The site on which the house stands is very steep, hence the small footprint and tower-like design
Window seats and other viewing areas are scattered throughout the floor plan, making the most of the magnificent landscapeView in gallery
Window seats and other viewing areas are scattered throughout the floor plan, making the most of the magnificent landscape
The wood-paneled bedroom wall and angled ceiling add warmth and character to the spaceView in gallery
The wood-paneled bedroom wall and angled ceiling add warmth and character to the space
The living room has a double height ceiling and access to one of the open deck areasView in gallery
The living room has a double height ceiling and access to one of the open deck areas
A tall wooden bookcase extends all the way up to the ceiling, emphasizing the height of the roomView in gallery
A tall wooden bookcase extends all the way up to the ceiling, emphasizing the height of the room
The black cladding on the exterior allows the house to more easily blend in with its surroundingsView in gallery
The black cladding on the exterior allows the house to more easily blend in with its surroundings
The kitchen and the dining area are completely open to the sunken living roomView in gallery
The kitchen and the dining area are completely open to the sunken living room
Full-height windows create a stunning backdrop for the casual dining areaView in gallery
Full-height windows create a stunning backdrop for the casual dining area
Sets of stairs connects all the different levels, ensuring a fluid connection between all the roomsView in gallery
Sets of stairs connects all the different levels, ensuring a fluid connection between all the rooms
One of the decks is positioned below the living room, ensuring uninterrupted views from indoorsView in gallery
One of the decks is positioned below the living room, ensuring uninterrupted views from indoors