When at the Storm Cottage, a sense of solitude is palpable, though the ascetic and quiet are an active choice. Located on the east coast of Great Barrier Island, one of New Zealand’s many islands, the cottage stands as a lone figure that faces the dreamy haze suspended over the ocean waters. It is no exaggeration to say that Fearon Hay Architects designed the cottage with stoicism in mind. Perforated metal screens disrupt the striations of black timber that line the façade of the cottage, and control the degree of public and private where the cottage’s existence among the green plains is concerned. Yet, the interior of the building breathes warmth and comfort. Oiled oak boards create a homey feel, and the living space is organized with a minimal simplicity. Symmetrical bedrooms are mirrored across a central space, which opens to a deck and a view. The Storm Cottage needs no connection to the busy urban world, for the residence is powered by solar panels and has an independent system for water collection and treatment.

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