This beachfront property sits on a site that has a gentle fall from the ocean side down to the Western boundary. This height difference drove the concept of setting the house on a number of differing levels. The brief from the family, who had occupied the existing bach for 30 years, called for a new holiday house that would provide flexibility to accommodate three generations of family and friends, allowing for all seasons, all age-groups and provide endurance to stand the test of time.
Two monopitch forms are split by a stair tower. These two forms are independent of each other, each rising from single storey to a double storey in opposing directions. The beach front form provides living spaces and adult’s accommodation and the rear form is for children. The stair serves as access to these forms from the landings.
A significant Pohutukawa tree sitting on the beach reserve in front of the house forms a large natural feature. This provides screening and shelter to the site. The roof line of the house rises up to this tree, giving these upper rooms with a “tree house” experience.
The split forms and mono pitch roof lines allow for a variety of scale, height and separation of spaces within the house. A variety of views are experienced, some open to the beach, as well as out west to the Coromandel Ranges.
A Te Kuiti limestone clad outdoor fire pit on the beach side, acts as a private solid shelter and is a contrast to the lighter materials employed in the house which are vertical western red cedar weatherboards and horizontal screens.
Cedar screens and pocket sliding doors allow for privacy from the reserve and summer ventilation in both indoor and outdoor rooms.
The overall effect has been to create a series of spaces, terraces, decks and areas, both inside and out, which allow the family to either come together, or to find a quiet place to be alone.
Photo: David St George