A New Zealand homestead opens up to its magical landscape

Flock Hill Homestead by Warren and Mahoney is all about the magical natural landscape that surrounds it

Exterior of linear modernist house in new zealand
(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)

Tall, misty mountains, green, tree-filled slopes and limestone rock formations looking across Lake Pearson, form a magical backdrop, where a low, New Zealand homestead sits nestled into the landscape. Welcome to Flock Hill Homestead, a new guest home project designed in Craigieburn Valley in New Zealand’s South Island, by Christchurch architecture studio Warren and Mahoney (W+M). 

The surrounding nature was a key driver in the design composition, explains W+M principal and project lead Jonathan Coote: ‘The mystical quality of Flock Hill has long held appeal and the location was used as a film set for CS Lewis’ fantasy novel-turned-film, The Chronicles of Narnia. On a good day, when the lake is glassy, you can literally see the fish jumping. You’re absolutely consumed by the scale and majesty of the landscape.'

modern house among trees in New Zealand

(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)

The design is clean and modest, drawing on modernist principles mixed with references to the farmhouses found in the local region. Open to guests, the property was conceived to feel at home in the natural scenery, and features heavy, sturdy masonry and a gently pitched roof. This way it feels anchored to its site, and truly embedded into its geography. 

‘We wanted to create something that could provide guests a sense of safety and retreat from the mountainous elements while still feeling fully immersed in the dramatic scenery,' continues Coote. ‘The simple pitched roof form is a reference to the agricultural use of the area and the utilitarian but beautiful farm structures and sheds that dot the local landscape. It gives the building a sense of lightness and connection externally and texture and warmth internally. It also enhances the experience of the “weight” of the limestone elements.' 

Concrete fireplace with blue edge, inside Flock Hill homestead, New Zealand

(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)

A dramatic veranda that opens up to long views becomes a central point in the design. Meanwhile, inside, tinted concrete, limestone flooring and timber make for a cosy yet contemporary interior. It is exactly this balance of comfort and exploration that this New Zealand homestead is aiming to inspire, say the property's managers, Andrew and Sandra Cullen. 

‘Flock Hill inspires adventure and exploration due to the magnificence of the property. Being able to share our passion for our surroundings and offering guests adventures within the station, where space is yours to embrace, is something we look forward to.' 

Interior of modern house looking out through glazed facade

(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)

Corner of roof against mountain backdrop

(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)

Swimming pool against mountain backdrop

(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)

Dark moody interiors of modern villa

(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)

Kitchen in modern home

(Image credit: Warren and Mahoney)



Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).

With contributions from