Gisborne House Off the Grid


Longbush, Gisborne


Jeremy Salmond



This house, conceived as a building in a landscape, lies at the centre of a 15 year regeneration project focused on the protection of native plants and birds.

New Design

This property is “off the grid”, and relies on solar power and water heating, with gas and wetback boost. The separate garage contains battery bank and generator.

Construction combines a Hebel block solid enclosing wall to the south, incorporating small steel windows, and a more open face to the north featuring large timber windows to capture sun and panoramic views of the wider landscape. The single-pitch roof projects forward to provide summer shade.

The buildings were carefully sited to preserve two archaeological features which recall traditional (pre-contact) use of the land.

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The interior finishes of native timber panelling and exposed rafters are refined to a high detail and exhibit quality craftsmanship and a comforting interior. The project is also to be commended in its thoughtful preservation of two archaeological sites. The home is truly in harmony with its environment and its owners.


Key design determinants were views up the valleys to the north and west. The two building elements lie east-west to maximise solar gain, and the north face features sliding timber doors opening onto a timber deck and concrete terrace.

The interior is a single space on two levels, with separate bathroom (the house is the first stage of a larger group of structures) and the footprint of the residential part is just 64m².

The ground floor single, open-plan room contains kitchen, laundry, dining and living areas. The upper level incorporates a bath-room, two sleeping areas and storage space.

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Level 4, Landmark House
187 Queen Street
Auckland CBD 1010