Contemporary Version of an Ancient Castle | Parihoa House

The ancient architype of The Castle as an Outpost or Fort is rarely articulated in the modern world. This New Zealand farmhouse project explores this typology by being both commanding and defensive in one form.

Located in a rugged landscape with sometimes harsh weather, this contemporary house nestles into the hillside with magnificent panoramic views of the coast.

A simple strategy of formal juxtapositions such as converging and expanding walls create varied spatial experiences throughout the form. An entry lobby is guarded by a portcullis to keep the sheep out and sections of the perimeter wall also pivot open unexpectedly.

There is no modification to the landscape other than the sentry of the form itself. Wind and sea spray thunders up from the ocean some 60 metres below and the form wraps around to protect a circulation courtyard from the rugged and harsh coastal environment. The resulting structure defends that same environment.

A tough facade is contrasted with a serene interior, using a restricted palette based on materials that will patina over time. The blackened boards of the facade are echoed in the interior wood with a stained finish.

The Parihoa house is organized as a series of spaces connected through the circulation courtyard and secret doors, revealing seemingly arbitrary shapes, yet suggesting a history; a sense of transcended time. Views through the protected courtyard end at the horizon.


Project name: Parihoa Farmhouse
Location: Muriwai, New Zealand
Architecture: Patterson Associates
Area: 472 m²
Year: 2009
Photography :Simon Devitt, Jean-Luc Laloux

0:00 – Parihoa House
5:30 – Drawings

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