A young family embraces New Zealand farm life with a sustainable prefab home.

The north side of the home opens up to a covered wraparound deck and views of the Karangahake Gorge.

When Sarah and James purchased a picture-perfect stretch of farmland in the North Island town of Waihi, the young, outdoorsy couple made environmental stewardship a key priority—and their first move was to commission a prefabricated house with minimal site impact.

To bring their vision to life, Sarah and James asked Auckland-based MAKE Architects to design a prefab home inspired by New Zealand’s minimalist hiking shelters, colloquially known as “trampers huts.”

Located on farmland near the top of the Waitawheta Valley, the Karangahake House overlooks views of the Karangahake Gorge to the north, the Waitawheta River to the east, and the Kaimai Ranges to the southwest.

Located on farmland near the top of the Waitawheta Valley, the Karangahake House overlooks views of the Karangahake Gorge to the north, the Waitawheta River to the east, and the Kaimai Ranges to the southwest.

David Straight

Curious cows are a frequent sight on the farm. The house is located upslope from a 1900s worker’s cottage that the couple renovated in 2017 and rent out on Airbnb.

Curious cows are a frequent sight on the farm. The house is located upslope from a 1900s worker’s cottage that the couple renovated in 2017 and rent out on Airbnb.

David Straight

“This provided a great opportunity for design interpretation, even when referencing a particular vernacular,” says MAKE Architects director Martin Varney, whose team drew up a simple gabled form with a cozy interior.

The north side of the home opens up to a covered wraparound deck and views of the Karangahake Gorge.

The north side of the home opens up to a covered wraparound deck and views of the Karangahake Gorge.

David Straight

See the full story on Dwell.com: An Eco-Friendly Prefab Farmhouse Pops Up in New Zealand in Just 4 Days
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