Eyrie is a wooden prefab retreat located in Kaiwaka, New Zealand, designed by Cheshire Architects.


Eyrie comprises two houses near Kaiwaka. Each is barely larger than four sheets of plywood. They are made from wood, are off-grid and autonomous, their outsides burnt black.

This project is part polemic, part escape. Holiday homes have become this country’s decadence. Our sub- prime estuarine site permitted a 1500m2 palace. It forbade two 29m2 cabins.

At night we talked excitedly about Malevich’s Suprematism; in the morning we got up and wrote legal submissions on visual density and the attrition of driveways. We wanted a different vision for New Zealand’s coastal future.

In these houses a history of prismatic abstraction is conflated with a poetic of small boats bobbing in a sea of grass. There are no doors. One climbs up boulders and in through a window instead.

We hoped that in subverting the shorthand language of building these little constructions might feel like something other than – and more than – houses.

Photography by Jeremy Toth

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