I feel like we should give Peter Jackson a high-five every time something cool comes out of New Zealand—I don’t know about you, but I had no idea how awesome the Kiwis were until this last decade or so. With its absolutely pristine landscapes and gorgeous vistas, NZ seems to be a real hot spot for killer modern architecture. Fearon Hay Architects are just one among many of the wildly talented design firms living between the 35th and 47th parallels.
With over 4000 sq. ft. of combined space, the Island Retreat on Matiatia Bay, Waiheke Island, Auckland, was built in 2011. It is comprised of three independent structures—living space, sleeping quarters, and studio space—built around a central courtyard. This particular geographic locale is known for its rather fierce winds, and as such, Island Retreat’s components include thick retractable glass, thermo-conscious concrete, and contoured roofs. In a nod to its natural environs, solar panels generate the necessary power for the home while rainwater is collected and used accordingly.