Off the Grid Storm Cottage by Fearon Hay Architects

This two bedroom Storm Cottage rests on the picturesque East Coast of the Great Barrier Island in Auckland, New Zealand. Designed by Fearon Hay Architects the building is powered solely by a photovoltaic solar panel array and has no connection to the electrical grid.  There are also separate systems for both water collection and waste treatment located on the property. The boxy rectangular shaped cottage is clad in rough sawn black timber and is well suited to the bucolic and peaceful setting. The home was specifically designed with a limited scale to maintain a cabin like feel where one may have the primary comforts of a modern home but as a private and serene retreat. To me the Storm Cottage is reminiscent of,  but perhaps even more robust than the cabins found in both the mountains and along the coastal areas in Scandinavia.


The flooring and walls of the interior space are made from local and sustainably sourced oiled oak boards. There is a warm, minimalistic and comfortable feel in the open plan main living space. The furnishings are modern and fresh. Both the Northern and Southern sides of the building can be opened via folding perforated metal screens to extend the living area into the outdoor spaces. These screens not only allow for the moderation of natural light and ventilation, but also provide an additional level of security for the building during storms or when unoccupied.

Private bedrooms with simple and contemporary furnishings are located on either side of the main living area, each with an en suite bath. Both bedrooms face the Northern coastline and have an uninterrupted and mesmerizing sounds and view of the sea.



Project Information

Project Title | Storm Cottage
Function | Residential
Architectural Design | Fearon Hay Architects
Design Team | Fearon Hay Architects with Penny Hay
Location|  Great Barrier Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Floor Area |  100 sqm
Completed | 2012
Photography | Patrick Reynolds

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