Rangitahi Designer series: Nordic studio

This weeks Designer series features Australia & NZ based Architecture & design studio, Nordic Studio.

Karin and her partner took buying a section on Rangitahi as an opportunity to move home to Raglan and build their first home. Karin herself is an Architect and owner of Nordic studio, and is inspired by modern Scandinavian design. We managed to have a chat with her about moving to Rangitahi and designing her first home.

What inspired you to buy a section on Rangitahi?

My partner lived in Raglan for many years, and when we heard about the development at Rangitahi I was easily convinced to go and see the sections. We soon agreed; this was a great opportunity to build our first home and be able to move back to Raglan one day.

Are you building a Bach or more permanent home?

We are building a permanent home.

What was the inspiration behind the design and what kind of look were you going for? Did you achieve this?

The house is a reflection of modern Scandinavian design. Growing up in Sweden and studying architecture in Denmark, I have always been inspired by the minimalism that flourished in the 1950’s. I was studying buildings, furniture and design objects by Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto and Bruno Mathsson, just to name a few. Simplicity and clean lines, carefully selected materials and natural light creates functional and comfortable living.

The scheme of the house grew from two volumes; one for more private areas like bedrooms, bathroom and study, and one for social spaces like kitchen and living areas. A transparent part is linking the two volumes together bringing the garden visually into the house. This arrangement of the floor plan, based on sun direction, prevailing wind and view lines, creates protected outdoor spaces in-between the two volumes.

The gable shapes gives an opportunity to create open high ceilings for the kitchen and living areas and to bring in the natural light, as well as fitting an extra level on top of the bedrooms.   

The sequence in which the rooms are linked together is important to the functionality of the house. It creates a flow in how the spaces will be used.

View lines to the distant landscape outside as well as clear lines inside, makes it easy to orientate  and read the interior layout. It simply creates a functional home.

Using timber for structure, cladding and finishes, is not only because it is a beautiful material, it is also environmentally sustainable. This renewable material has unique qualities of support and strength, infinite potential for various building techniques and quick building times. Throughout the process of sourcing the timber to finished product, is all about the sensations like smell, touch and the warmth of the timber surface.

What are the most important aspects of a home for you? Is this reflected in your design?

Views – whether the views are vast to an open landscape, or framed by openings in the facade to direct the eyes to a feature tree in the garden. Views connects the interior with the outside and also brings nature into the house, like framed ever changing artworks.

What kind of cladding have you chosen and why? What are some of the materials you’re using in your home?

We have chosen a timber cladding sourced from locally grown plantation forests. After a thermal modification process free from chemical preservatives, the timber’s natural durability and low maintenance results in long-term sustainability.

The cladding will weather with time and it will be interesting to follow the facade change in appearance, until it reaches a light silvery-grey finish.

Timber is also selected for parts of the interior like timber floorboards and exposed timber rafters in the ceiling. White painted walls makes the beautiful texture of the timber stand out together with raw concrete finish for selected details.

What kind of landscaping style are you going for and what was the inspiration behind this?

The landscaping is following the slight slope of the site with garden beds taking up the height difference. The idea is to use recycled timber like railway sleepers for retaining walls and garden edging for a rustic weathered look. Stepping stones create garden paths that are less defined and blurs the transition from patios to lawn. We would like to have a variety of edible plants and herbs for all seasons. This will be a work in progress to grow and develop over time.

What are you looking forward to most about living on Rangitahi?

To wake up every morning to the ever changing views of the estuary, the majestic Karioi and the surrounding sweeping landscapes.

Check out her amazing design, site and some of her inspiration boards below. You can view Karin’s projects & get in touch at www.nordicstudio.com.au. She works as an Architect in Australia and New Zealand.

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