20 years

Anonymous - ***(John Kenderdine)



The Matter Bach is something else. A beautiful piece of design work by Matter Architects, it demonstrates that a small building can be a great building. Situated in the small town of Whiritoa, on the east coast of the North Island, this little residence is a landmark of the town.

The Bach has a simple and relatively low cost material pallet consisting of plywood and corrugated tin and polycarbonate (strong plastic).

The design is basically a rectangular box on stilts with two well placed corrugated towers that intersect it, one being a staircase and the other the fireplaces. It is on stilts

The unconventional design is a response to both the cultural and physical landscape. The bach takes on its

Here we could also learn a lesson about land.

how were costs kept down. low cost materials and clever design, simple and minimal, small, no conventional windows


Small narrow difficult site on a flood plane and in a hallow. Council drain easement

Interacts with neighbours at Street level especially draw bridge

Had to be on stilts because of flood plane

Can play under the house

Like boxes in boxes

Views to the beach from the roof

70m2 on a site of just under 400m2

Ply and corrugate and polycarbonate

Treated ply form the body with two towers out of corrugated polycarbonate and tin

Fantastic use of materials and form

A work of art

Needed privacy from neighbours driveway

Lights up like a lantern

Roof garden, Sleeping nooks, natural lot showers are becoming a part of matters repertoire

A small house is a great house

Photography by Samuel Hartnett