Affordable light earth duplex in the central Auckland suburbs with charred cypress rainscreen cladding and an edible garden.
The brief was for two, three bedroom attached homes with separate offices and detached garages on a typical suburban lot.
The light earth external walls will be over clad for weather protection. The cladding will be heart cypress weatherboards. To increase durability, the boards will be burnt in the ancient Japanese yakisugi (shou sugi ban) timber preservation heat treatment method. This technique increases the stability of the boards, improves fire resistance and prevents insect and fungal decay. It requires no maintenance or initial oiling (boards untreated with yakisugi need initial and periodic oiling) and was traditionally performed on Cryptomeria japonica or ‘sugi’ trees which are of the cypress family. It was left raw or brushed to varying degrees for aesthetic effect.
Both the homes will have an internal mass wall of adobe brick behind a wood stove. Earthen plasters and waxed timber will be used throughout each house.
Outside will be espalier fruit trees, raised vegetable gardens, water tanks, a worm farm, compost bins and the property will be wrapped in feijoa hedging.
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