A view to the sea contemporary beach facing house by Hamish Cameron

Contemporary beach facing house by Hamish Cameron
Story by: Charles Moxham
This house was designed by Hamish Cameron NZIA architecture, building, cottage, facade, home, house, neighbourhood, property, real estate, residential area, tree, brown
This house was designed by Hamish Cameron NZIA of Archimedia Group. A view of the house across its lawn, with a garage seen.

Making the most of the outlook is a primary consideration for any beach-facing residence. However, a strategic design will ensure the rear neighbours as well as the home's occupants can appreciate the sea views unimpeded.

This modern island residence was designed by architect Hamish Cameron for a couple as their permanent home from which to commute daily to the city and to be comfortable in retirement. The house had to have an unpretentious, beachy feel and downplay its mass on the street. Minimising the impact on the neighbours' outlook and retaining privacy were other key requirements of the project, says Cameron.

"In response to these requests, I designed the house as two understated buildings one set behind and slightly hidden by the other when viewed from the pavement. The two blocks enclose a central, sheltered courtyard."

The front section of the house contains the kitchen, living spaces and a central staircase leading up to the master suite. The rear block has the garage at ground level and guest bedrooms above that.

"The site was long and relatively narrow," says the architect. "The double-storey central volume has been kept to a 4m width, with the living area reaching out beyond this footprint as a single-level space creating a relaxed, modern street presence.

This house was designed by Hamish Cameron NZIA house, interior design, living room, real estate, room, table, white
This house was designed by Hamish Cameron NZIA of Archimedia Group. Here is a view of the kitchen area, with a table and chairs, a kitchen island, stools, and cabinetry.

"This design initiative minimised the impact of the double-storey element, and also allowed us to introduce additional ceiling height above the living area adding to its presence."

Privacy demands also helped shape the clean-lined home. A standing-seam, mono-pitch roof folds down to form the windowless western wall. This further reduces bulk as well as screening out an adjacent home.

As well as having substantial glazing facing the beach, the house opens up to the seaside environment with large stacker doors. The master suite on the upper level is set forward slightly from the ground level rooms and offers overhanging shade for the L-shaped living spaces below.

"I chose the material palette to relate to the coastal setting. The horizontal cedar weatherboard cladding, stained silvery grey, relates to the colours of the pohutukawa trees on the site and complements the clean, horizontal lines of the house."

The entire ground level of the residence is floored in tinted, polished concrete. This creates a low-maintenance surface and introduces the barefoot appeal appropriate to the home's sea-and-sand setting.

This house was designed by Hamish Cameron NZIA architecture, house, interior design, living room, penthouse apartment, real estate, gray
This house was designed by Hamish Cameron NZIA of Archimedia Group. A view of the living area with a couch, staircase, a coffee table and two chairs.

"A staircase divides the internal volume of the main building vertically bringing a subtle sense of separation for the side living area," says the architect. "However, I chose the open stair treads and frameless glass balustrades to ensure vistas could be enjoyed from the home's central courtyard right through to the front glazing and the sea beyond."

Light as well as scenery is an essential part of a beachside ambience and this filters into the house in other ways besides the end walls of glass. Slatted clerestory windows in the living room contribute to its sunlit aesthetic while a lantern light box pops up above the kitchen on the other side of the house, finished in similar wood slats. Lastly, the staircase allows light to flood into the heart of the public spaces from the windows in the stairwell above.

The guest wing at the back of the house echoes the wrap-around form of the front and has a similar, albeit external, staircase. A slatted cedar screen off the east wall provides shade, privacy and wind protection.

"The rear structure is almost identical in form to the front volume, that is apart from the projected slat screen which like the lounge on the front building stands proud of the core build form," says Cameron. "This element masks a bay window that allows occupants of the guest room to look out and down the side of the house to the sea."

Oct 28, 2011

Credit list

Interior designer
Andi Wheeler
Kitchen designer
Hamish Cameron
Bandsawn horizontal shiplap weatherboards from Cedarcorp
Tundura Grey in main bathroom from SCE Stone & Design
Swinson wallcoverings
Light Plan
Louvred shutters
Santa Fe
Kitchen benchtops
Asko, available from Kitchen Things
Liebherr, available from Kitchen Things
Tomik Building Consultants
Kitchen cabinet maker
Eurotray Colorcote ARX in Grey Flannel from Metal Design Solutions
Ground and sealed concrete; French oak
Paints and varnishes
Doors & windows
APL Metro Series from Origin Joinery Hamilton
Jetmaster from The Fireplace
Kitchen splashback
Glass Relate
Oven and microwave
Miele, available from Kitchen Things
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