Tiny Timber Tower Was Airlifted And Tucked Into The Green New Zealand Landscape

Tucked away in the beautiful native bush of Eastbourne, Wellington, New Zealand is the Karka Tower, an architectural structure that embodies the innovation and evolution of the architecture world. The compact and distinctive structure is designed by Arête Architects and Makers Fabrication and is intended to be an intelligent solution to the difficult terrain, and the client’s brief. The client wanted an additional dwelling on a challenging and steep site, next to his main home. To meet the owner’s requirement, the studio designed a tiny tower-like structure that functions as an annex to the pre-existing home.

Designer: Arête Architects and Makers Fabrication

The studio wanted to maximize the tower’s interior space, as well as its footprint, hence they stacked various modular volumes on top of each other. The volumes are prefabricated off-site from eucalypt rainscreen timber, and then moved to the site. Since it is difficult to access the site, the tower was transported in three parts, using a helicopter. Each volume weighed up to 2425 lb, and the fact that they were airlifted helped to reduce potential environmental impacts.

The Karaka Tower is nestled on a dense forest hillside, and it effortlessly blends with its surroundings, while providing stunning views of Te Whanganui-a-Tara. The tower occupies 97 square feet, and it contains a supplementary bedroom and an art studio. The structure’s interiors remind you of a treehouse accentuated with exposed macrocarpa timber framing. The tiny tower also features a panoramic open-air rooftop terrace, which provides access to uninterrupted views across treetops.

The Karaka Tower has an impressive thermal performance that is optimized for year-round comfort and energy efficiency. It features a comprehensive waterproofing system that is developed with Viking Roofspec, which provides airtightness and thermal insulation. The various modules have a double TPO membrane and a batten system for quick weatherproofing.