NZ Woolsheds inspire stunning frame for new home in Tai Tapu

NZ woolshed-inspired stunning frame for new home in Tai Tapu

Our clients on this project have taken ‘involvement’ to new heights! The macrocarpa trees were planted (26 years ago), felled, logged and milled by the client. He then bid them au revoir and had them transported from Christchurch to our workshop in Ruby Bay. Our instructions were to create a rustic frame, retaining all the wane (natural curve to the wood once the bark is removed) and natural features that we found in the timbers. The 10-acre section where these timbers were ultimately destined for is far from ordinary.  Rich planting of natives took place twenty years ago and there is a beautiful flower garden and established vegetable patch, so the new property needed to sit here comfortably; an organic approach was called for.

Ensuring the joints and housings matched up perfectly made an interesting change for the Timberworks crew as normally we’d be dealing with right-angles and square timbers but it was an extremely rewarding process and everyone was delighted with the end product. It was a fascinating journey for us to work with a client who had such intimate knowledge, not only of each and every timber on this project, but of plants and forestry in general. The lifecycle of these trees is clearly evident in the macrocarpa frame; many details which are normally removed during milling and crafting were actually retained, accentuated and celebrated; photos 15 & 16 show this clearly; sapwood as well as heartwood, wane, burrows created by insects etc. The walnut stain applied as the final stage brought all these details to life and gave a rich patina to the dressed but only coarsely-sanded, timbers.

We had a great team for the 4-day raising in Tai Tapu with the clients and their builder pulling their weight and putting in long hours. We had a clear, perfectly even ‘Magroc’ floor pad to work on and the whole building will be sheathed in these structural insulated panels (SIPs) which will make for a fast, straightforward build. The Canterbury weather was ideal and the week flew by; before we knew it, that enormous jigsaw had been assembled, the last piece ceremoniously inserted and the frame ‘topped out’ traditionally with a large sprig of macrocarpa. For now we must wish our clients good luck with the remainder of their build and we look forward to renewing acquaintances when we visit later in the year to see the finished product!