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This coastal home for one makes the most of its views and existing build rights while welcoming extended family and not annoying neighbours

Designed by Jeff Brickell Architects

From the architect:

This home was designed for a retired woman with a large extended family and keen Mid-century design eye. 

The brief called for a special place that could create intergenerational memories, as well as be a comfortable dwelling for one person. 

It was to be simple, informal with minimal impact on neighbours' views and properties. 

Utilising existing use rights meant the new bach could maintain its privileged position overlooking the bay.

The steep south facing site receives all day sun on its landward side while cold winter winds prevail from the seaward side. 

The site has stunning views over McKenzie Bay, Calliope Island and across the Whangarei Harbour mouth to Ruakaka. 

The existing site infrastructure – vehicle access, retaining walls and outbuildings – was to be retained as much as possible.


The house was conceived as a simple, low-slung, gable roof-form straddling the contour overlooking the bay. 

It is reinforced by a exposed laminated timber ridge beam/spine which sets up two distinct sides to the house – sun and sea. 

A section of the roof in the living area is ‘popped up’ to the north to add internal height and allow winter sun deep into the house. 

Automatic clerestory windows allow summer passive stack ventilation (a vertical ventilation shaft where moist warm air is naturally drawn up and expelled outside through a vent above the roofline).

The house needed to be transparent, particularly from the sunny northern outdoor spaces – so that sea views could be enjoyed year round, even on cold winter days. 

The seaward deck was retained exactly as it was, given it was positioned where it would not be permitted to build again, set down to allow unimpeded views from the house. 

The living space features built-in joinery and a window seat bathed in winter sun and shaded from summer sun. 

The living end of the house can be opened to suit the prevailing conditions. 

An operable louvre roof provides summer shade and covered and uncovered outdoor spaces. 

Bedrooms have great sea views. 

The master suite is positioned for privacy at the eastern end of the house. 

Wet areas open onto an outdoor utility area with outdoor shower and fish cleaning facility. 

An additional sleep out for extra guests is positioned further up the site and linked by landscape stairs.    

The exterior is finished in Abodo Vulcan thermally modified timber cladding in both vertical and horizontal profiles and ABODO screening. 

The interior features Gaboon plywood ceiling linings and joinery, white oak floors and laminated timber posts and beams. 

Paint finished plasterboard is used to offset the warmth of the timber.

Environmental credentials include: double glazing, high levels of thermal insulation, passive solar heating, passive ventilation/cooling (cross and stack ventilation), compact plan form and extensive use of timber and engineered wood products.    

Credit list

Kitchen designer/manufacturer
Gyco Joinery Whangarei
Cladding
Abodo Vulcan
Louvre system
Louvretech
Main/bedroom flooring
American oak solid timber
Fireplace
Warmington Tasman
Photography
Doug Pearson Photography
Builder
Bryce Thorn Builders
Interior design
Jeff Brickell Architects
Roof
Metalcraft T-Rib
Window/door joinery
APL
Paint
Resene
Lighting
The Lighting Centre

Story by: Trendsideas

30 Jun, 2024

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