IMAGES Simon Devitt 

Amid the sunburned grass and bright-blue waters of Banks Peninsula, stylish modern design meets functionality. A picturesque location and exceptional farm shed turned luxurious escape has transformed the somewhat quiet south Canterbury spot of Pigeon Bay into a global phenomenon attracting visitors worldwide to retreat. 

The glory that is Annandale farm and its reach of 4000 acres with more than 10 kilometres of exquisite coastline running up the northern side of Banks Peninsula, is home to owner Mark Palmer. Born and raised in New Zealand, growing up on a sheep farm in the North Island, Palmer lives on the property as well as having a base in the United States.

Front view of farmhouse with the sea in the background

After studying in the US, the lure of New Zealand and the farming realm deemed too hard to resist, thus the purchase by Palmer and his wife, Jacqui, of Annandale station. A functioning farm in its own right and run by a farm manager, is the abode to sheep and cattle.

On the farm's northern extremity lies Scrubby Bay, and inclusive of the site is a modern take on a farmhouse that pays excellent homage to the breath taking scenery that it inhales. The house can be described as a habitation to escape from busy lives and revel in stunningly beautiful surroundings, always feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Closer look at the entrance of the farmhouse

Finding the South Island particularly beautiful, Palmer treasures sleepy little Pigeon Bay as “untouched”, explaining he wanted to create a certain authentic impression. Relatively, “the same as New Zealand was 50 years ago, with summers where kids were jumping off jetties in combination with that classic campground feel”.

The bay can be considered eternal in the way that nothing really changes, by picking a contemporary form, Palmer has been able to fight the timeless nature of the bay, but in saying this everything about the simplicity of such a site is still very contemporary.

A modern fireplace makes the rustic living area contemporary

The cedar skin which adorns the inner and outer walls of the home is inspiring to say the least and upon walking into the house it is clear that every inch of the home has been thought out and adhered to be perfect. 

The home’s cedar walls and roof are almost the same as the tinged grass on the farm that surrounds it. Despite an open brief, architect of the house Andrew Patterson, chose a traditional ideal for the building to honour the sites farming notability, history and rich sense of timelessness. 

The modern bathroom with standalone bathtub

Its form rests in harmony with the halting landscape. The building runs east to west, but instead of outstanding elevations it features two connected gable forms which almost appear to be slipping past each other. 

The large entrance is accompanied by the gabled forms connecting and the draught of the homes macrocarpa linings which are as apparent as every other feature. The inclusive, thin hallway that leads to a bunkroom and bedroom is that of scalable taste whilst still abiding by the timeless contemporary nature of Scrubby Bay. 

The bedroom looks out to the sea

Palmer envisages the home as a place for the family to stay when they’re visiting and also a luxury holiday rental. Palmer recalls several times lying in bed and waking up in the morning to the rare sight of Hectors dolphins and seals playing in the bay, ultimately reassuring him that the conception of Annandale and particularly Scrubby Bay is the best place to connect, and unwind.

You might want to have a look at some of our case studies, such as this 1970s home renovation in New Zealand.  

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This article featured on page 62 in Issue 022 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page. This is not a Refresh Renovations case study. 

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