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The Abodo's Cardrona Cabin designed by Assembly Architects

Set in the harsh alpine climate of New Zealand’s South Island, the cabin demonstrates the durability, along with the beauty of Abodo timber products and processes. Designed by Arrowtown-based architecture practice Assembly Architects.

This cabin showcases New Zealand material, detail and craft in the alpine environment. Sited in the Cardrona Valley between Wanaka and Queenstown, the building demonstrates the Abodo range of thermally modified timber products in practice: cladding, structure, linings, flooring, fenestration, joinery, furnishing and fence posts showcase the products.

The Abodo's Cardrona Cabin designed by Assembly Architectsimage © Chris Lea


The gable form is derived from the Central Otago stone shed, though the traditional appearance has been abstracted. Elements that normally communicate building scale are absent, the form is presented as a monolith of rigorously set-out battened timber, floating on a recessed piled foundation. Slight variations in the batten spacings signify windows, a single street-side door is sheltered by a steel arch.

prefabricated cabin with wooden facade image © Chris Lea

In contrast to the restrained exterior materiality, the interior structure and surfaces are a rich articulation of New Zealand carpentry codes and builders craft, using a wide array of Abodo timbers and finishes.

Extensive use of timber throughout - a few carefully crafted details include:

● Façade and Roof: Abodo Vulcan timber screening, finished in Sioo:x, a silicate based wood finish designed to silver off.

● Entry Platform: Board formed concrete with “bush hammer” finish.

● Structure: Abodo Vulcan timber in exposed studs and rafters in raw finish combined with exposed steel portals.

● Interiors: Abodo Vulcan Panelling TG9 – raw finish.

● Flooring: Abodo Thermally Modified Silver Beech, finished in Whittle Evolution hard wax oil

● Kitchen: Abodo Vulcan facings, with Abodo Thermally Modified Silver Beech bench top, finished in Rubio Monocoat Intense Black

wooden cabin interior design image © Simon Devitt

No longer can we use slow grown, imported timbers to build premium homes and structures. This building is a showcase of what can be achieved when we think differently - it is designed to inspire others.

a flower pot with white flower inside on the dining table indorse cabin house image © Simon Devitt

the wooden ceiling detail image © Simon Devitt

Abodo timbers are sourced from rapidly renewable FSC® certified New Zealand plantations that help to mitigate climate change by absorbing vast amounts of carbon.

Using state-of-the-art thermal modification and grain orientation technology, we can craft beautiful timbers that stand the test of time, reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, without disadvantaging future generations.

wooden ceiling detail image © Simon Devitt

wooden columns and beams image © Simon Devitt

cabin showroom located at a mountain in New Zealand image © Chris Lea

cabin facade image © Chris Lea

cabin house design image © Simon Devitt

wooden wall details image © Simon Devitt

wood cabin at night image © Chris Lea


Project name: Cardrona Cabin

Architecture firm: Assembly Architects

Principal architect: Justin Wright

Location: Cardrona Valley, South Island, New Zealand

Built area: 120 m²

Completion year: 2020

Collaborators: Dunlop Builders - Wanaka

Construction: Dunlop Builders - Wanaka

Client: Abodo Wood

Status: Complete

Photography:  Chris Lea, Simon Devitt

Tools used: Crane, hand tools

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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