Torea Studio

Torea Studio
Waimea Inlet, Tasman, New Zealand
Inch Building Ltd
Completed 2015
Structural Engineer
Dunning Thornton


This small rural studio for work and business meetings is the architect’s evocative response to an appealing wild-life resident. The building design makes a metaphoric narrative of Torea (oystercatchers) strutting to the water’s edge.

Restrained and deceptively simple, the entire structure comprises XLam panels wrapped in a tight skin of zinc, making a cleverly folded space that flows seamlessly from outside to in. Austere bedrooms are made delightful by a material richness and considered openings for light and views.

Structural system

All XLam panels are 3-layer Radiata pine with selected premium visual grade timber to exposed surfaces. No two panels are the same. Most panels are secured to the concrete slab using an XLam drossbach system. High tensile engineering screws were partially threaded into the bottom edge of the panels to align with pre-formed over-size holes in the concrete floor slab. As panels were lowered into position, epoxy grout was placed around the projecting screws to secure the fixing.

There is no interior edge trim to the exposed panels. The fine negative detailing at surface junctions was only made possible by precise CNC machining at the XLam factory. Once the studio was closed in, visual surfaces were lightly sanded and coated with a Java Oil finish from the Natural House Company.

Need help with your project? Project Enquiry Form

Customer Endorsements

“Brenda and I visited site today and were really pleased with the quality of the panels. It was cool to get inside the spaces and shapes after all the collective work to get the pieces on site and assembled. And it must be said that without your CLT production and CNC bridge we wouldn’t have conceived this little building. Congratulations on a great job.”

Hugh Tennent, Tennent+Brown Architects

Torea Studio won a Resene-New Zealand Institute of Architects Award in May 2016.

“This building was a joy to visit. It is a stimulating and creative work environment for its owner”.

NZIA Awards jury