Our client is a busy Auckland professional couple active in sports, and with three grown-up children. As a family they holidayed in Whangamata for most of their children’s lives and rented accommodation across the road from the new house site.
When the land became available they seized the opportunity to build a family holiday home in this place they love.
The unique magic of this site is immediately apparent. Perched on a promontory facing due north, the site is flanked by land that protects commanding sea views and reveals a tantalising steep pathway descending to the estuary. The design of the house builds upon the idea of this pathway journey.
A translucent wall to the street front presents as a glowing lantern at night. The entrance begins the journey as a modest single-storey space and progresses as a double-height gallery to a north-western courtyard. This gallery space is the threshold to the living space and culminates on a sun-facing deck with panoramic views down to the sea.
An internal breezeway with a double-height translucent wall forms a separation in the open plan for the children’s and visitors wing at the rear of the house. It acts as a ventilation chimney in summer, and an acoustic break from the main living and master bedroom wing.
The client’s brief to us was that the house be large enough to accommodate their extended family - complete with grandchildren - with some measure of independence, yet at the same time for the families to be strongly connected to the communal kitchen / dining / living hub of the house.
This holiday home ultimately becomes a comfortable recreational retirement haven for two.