The striking angular lines of this two-wing, single-level home provide shelter and lead the eye out to distinct areas of a sprawling seascape

Designed by Darren Jessop, Jessop Architects

From the architects:

Project description

Having already completed an extensive villa renovation for our Auckland-based clients, we were engaged to work with them again to design a modern coastal house on an elevated 5ha site overlooking Waipu Cove.

Their vision was for a simple, low-maintenance home that comprised two separate living and sleeping volumes that would both take advantage of sweeping coastal views, and also create a choice of free-flowing outdoor entertainment spaces, protected from both the onshore (NE) and the prevailing (SW) winds.

Our solution was a slightly pinched L-shaped form, with its axial points leading east, out to the Hen and Chicken Islands along a bedroom wing, and north up the coast to Marsden Point and Whangarei Heads along a living wing.

Extensive, full-height (3.2m) joinery gave our clients the transparency required for their views, plus multiple options for opening up and closing down the indoor spaces, depending on the wind direction. 

A covered outdoor room, complete with outdoor kitchen and fireplace, was placed off the north side of the living wing, adjacent to the kitchen.

The restrained material palette of concrete, cedar and aluminium was chosen not only for its simplicity, but also for its durability against the harsh marine environment.

The in situ concrete spine wall was the first element to appear on site. Its prime purpose is to protect the entry from the prevailing wind, but it also set the ‘angular’ theme seen in the rest of the house – particularly in the striking gabled ends of the two wings, which also serve to give added protection from the prevailing winds.

The interior of the home reflects the simplicity of the exterior, with cedar sarking on the ceilings that carry through, uninterupted, to the soffits, and wide-planked oak on the floors.

The original resource consent placed the house on a much lower part of the site, in a gulley, protected from the prevailing southwesterly wind, but with restricted views down the coast and out to the ocean. 

As part of the brief from our homeowner to maximise the views, we relocated the site of the house 200m up the hillside, just below the peak of a knoll, which we cut into and flattened to created a more sheltered building platform. 

This has given the home an infinitely better vista, with the added benefit of hiding it from view from the main road below.


Although not modelled as a fully passive solution, some passive principles were applied in the design of this house – extra insulation, approaching an airtight building envelope, and an HRV system.

The metal cladding is not sustainable, per se, however its durable coating means it will not need painting/recoating during its lifetime, so there are efficiencies there.

Rainwater is collected from the roofs and stored in three large tanks at the rear of the property. This water is used for irrigation and for topping up the swimming pool.

The cedar sarking was harvested from a sustainably managed forest, and the torch-on roof membrane is carbon neutral.

Credit list

Cook Costello
Equus torch on membrane
Windows and doors
APL/Vantage in Matt Black, by Phoenix Aluminium
Kitchen splashback
Quartz, from Stone Warehouse
Granite, colour Glacier, from Stone Warehouse
Tongue & groove panelling in cedar, from JSC Timber; colour – Resene Mount Honey
Internal paints
Dulux; Wattyl
Hardwood Iroko with Drydens Deck Oil, from Waipu Itm and JSC Timber
Paving stones
Black oxide with acid wash
Coastal Construction Projects
Landscape architect
Robin Shafer, Shafer Design
Eurostyle – Epic, by Roofing Industries; timber framed concrete
Kitchen cabinetry and bathroom vanity manufacturer
Guyco Kitchens
Kitchen cabinetry
American white oak veneer – dark stain and clear lacquer finish
Mercer, from Acero
Refrigeration, integrated
Fisher & Paykel
ECC Lighting
Engineered wood, stained oak, by Living Wood
Outdoor fireplace
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended

Designed by: Darren Jessop, Jessop Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Jamie Cobel

13 Jun, 2021

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