Home of the Year faces backlash

02:03, Apr 03 2014

Love them or hate them, two tiny cabins in Northland have been named 2014 Home of the Year.

Conceptualised by Auckland designer Nat Cheshire, the cabins are located on an inlet of the Kaipara Harbour. 

Cheshire took away the $15,000 prize after winning the Home New Zealand magazine competition.

The cabins, each measuring 28 square metres, were designed for two clients who had different needs, he said in a video accompanying the entry.

"As with all people, for those two clients 'retreat' means something different," he said.


He described one of the cabins as "a little pool of inky blackness into which to vanish.

"The other is a soft, warm piece of pine cabinetry to hold you aloft above the ground."

Of all his projects, it was the place where he could "feel the most peace", he said.

"I think small things can attain towards perfection in a way that large things almost never can."

But some critics had different opinions.

Newstalk ZB host Chris Lynch described the houses as "ugly, dungeon-looking cabins" which ruined the landscape.

"They are just simply offensive," he said on his talkback show.

"If I had a match and some petrol, enough said."

One commenter on the Home New Zealand Facebook page questioned whether it was an April Fool's joke. But others were more appreciative.

"Stunning, simple, captivating, beautiful... surely this is what 'architecture' means," a commenter said.

What do you think of the 2014 Home of the Year winner?